Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Don't fool around with Buy American rules, Washington.

There’s something afoot on the Internet.

Right now, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering changing how our nation’s transit systems are regulated — and the consequences could be devastating.

The DOT's Federal Transit Administration, a very online organization, is seeking “ideas” on the benefits of declaring taxpayer-funded bus and subway projects as “non-federal” projects. A change of this magnitude would allow transit projects to be built with Chinese parts and materials, abandoning working class Americans and even putting public safety at risk.

So we’ve called their bluff. Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul sent in his own idea — titled “NO LOOPHOLES” — and pointed out that their plan is a recipe for disaster.

And now we need your help making sure DOT officials see it.

Click here, then click “Vote” next to the idea titled NO LOOPHOLES to raise your voice.

We already know what happens when transportation infrastructure work is sent overseas.

California officials used Chinese-made steel to build the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, even though local workers and companies were prepared to do the same work.

The bridge ended up being a boondoggle. The foreign steel was poorly made and had to be redone, and the project repeatedly was delayed and went way over budget.

The worst part? There are still concerns about the bridge’s safety.

Which brings us back to what’s happening in Washington.

Federally funded projects are required to give American workers the first shot at building our transportation infrastructure. This makes sense — it reinvests tax money into our communities and allows officials to monitor project progress.

California bureaucrats got around these rules, and tried to save a few bucks by outsourcing work. It ended up costing way more in the end.

Now the DOT apparently wants to make it easier to outsource more of our transit projects! Tell them directly that you don’t want that to happen!

Please click “vote” next to my idea called “NO LOOPHOLES” and tell officials to uphold standards for federal transit projects.