Democratic Senator Calls on President Trump to Keep His Buy America Promise

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Shortly after taking office, President Trump paid a visit to the headquarters of Snap-on tools in Kenosha, Wis., to talk up his “Buy American, Hire American” campaign pledge.

During that April 2017 trip, Trump endorsed Buy America legislation put forth by Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) that requires the use of American-made steel and iron in government-funded drinking water projects, ensuring that taxpayer money is reinvested in American workers and communities rather than being sent overseas.

And as the saying goes: The North Remembers.

Baldwin wrote to Trump on Monday to remind him of his commitment to the Made in America Water Infrastructure Act – and at a critical time. While Baldwin’s legislation was included as part of the Senate’s version of the water infrastructure bill known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), it is not in the House version.

That’s a big concern. The last time Congress took up WRDA in 2016, similar Buy America language was included in the Senate version of the legislation, but Republicans in the House successfully stripped it from the final WRDA bill that became law.

Now there are fears that could happen again – unless Trump steps up. Baldwin writes:

“You need to back up your words with action. I’m proud to have earned your support for my Buy America reform and now is the time to keep your promise to workers in Wisconsin and across this country. I again urge you to make sure that the WRDA legislation that reaches your desk includes a permanent Buy America pledge that requires that our nation’s drinking water infrastructure is built with American workers and American-made materials.”

Trump has long touted his commitment to Buy America. But as Baldwin notes in her letter, the Trump administration’s statement of administration policy on the current WRDA bill backs the House version. Trump also failed to include Buy America in his February 2018 infrastructure proposal.

Now is an opportunity for Trump to reaffirm his Buy America commitments, and including such preferences for drinking water legislation just makes sense. As Baldwin writes, it helps ensure quality control for everything from drinking water treatment to replacing or repairing old pipes, improving water supply sources, and other key infrastructure projects.

On top of that, Buy America will keep taxpayer money in American communities instead of being sent to foreign countries, giving local manufacturers confidence to expand their facilities and hire more workers.

“Our American manufacturers and workers deserve a permanent Buy America pledge from Washington that rewards their hard work,” Baldwin writes. “Right now, they don’t have that pledge and we need to change that.”

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work