New York Gov. Cuomo Will Push to Make His State’s Buy American Act Permanent

By Monique Mansfield
Jan 07 2020 |
Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at Association for a better New York luncheon on Jan. 6. | Photo by Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Solidify Buy American, New York!

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to give his annual “State of the State” address on Wednesday in Albany, where he will officially unveil a series of policy proposals to set the Empire State’s agenda for 2020.

At last count, Cuomo had already shared details about more than 30 of the proposals, and here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing we were most interested in the 12th one: Cuomo’s proposal to make the “New York Buy American” Act permanent.

Back in December 2017, Cuomo signed legislation to require all structural steel and structural iron used in state and road bridge construction projects with contracts worth more than $1 million to be Made in America.

It’s proven to be beneficial to New York. Several of the state’s biggest infrastructure projects have used American-made structural iron and steel, including 110,000 tons of steel to help build the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, 11,500 tons of steel for the Kew Gardens Interchange and 6,850 tons of steel for the first two phases of the Kosciusko Bridge.

But the 2017 law is scheduled to expire in April 2020, and Cuomo wants keep it on the books.

“Making the Buy American Act permanent will not only help ensure the safest, best quality steel and iron are being used in our infrastructure projects, it will also create even more jobs for New Yorkers and support our growing 21st century economy,” Cuomo said.

Buy American just makes sense. It ensures taxpayer money is reinvested right back into local communities, supporting good-paying jobs and the economy, rather than being sent overseas to places like China or Russia.

As New York continues to grow in population and build additional infrastructure – other Cuomo proposals include plans to build high-speed rail, for example – making Buy American permanent is good policy.

“No state in the country is building like New York,” Cuomo said. “Our nation-leading, $150 billion infrastructure program is literally changing the face of the Empire State – and we have no intention of slowing down.”