Oregon Governor Holds Signing Ceremony for New Buy America Law

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Sep 29 2023 |

The law ensures that the Beaver State buys American-made iron, steel, and manufactured products for infrastructure projects. It’s a big win for workers and manufacturers.

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek held a signing ceremony on Thursday to celebrate a new law that effectively mandates that the iron and steel used in state-funded infrastructure projects will be Made in America.

Kotek originally signed House Bill (HB) 3332 back in August, but held a special ceremony Thursday to officially mark the bill becoming law. As we’ve previously reported, the bipartisan legislation requires that any public procurement contract with an estimated cost of $250,000 or more include notice that contractors will be required to use steel, iron, coatings for steel and iron and manufactured products that are produced in the United States.

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D), who co-sponsored the legislation alongside Reps. Lucetta Elmer (R) and Dacia Grayber, said the new law “ensures Oregonians’ hard-earned tax dollars go to domestic manufacturers, maintaining family wage jobs and a greener, more sustainable supply chain.”

“As tensions remain high around the globe, it is vital that we prioritize American made products whenever possible,” Elmer said. “This commonsense legislation ensures we are investing in our local businesses while limiting our dependence on foreign markets.”

Added Grayber: “Buy America policy empowers and supports our strong domestic manufacturing ecosystem. We have Oregon companies producing steel and other products carbon neutrally, and this policy means we don’t have to choose between a green economy and investing in local manufacturing—we can have both. I’m excited about the opportunities this will bring to Oregon.”

HB 3332 proved popular in Oregon. It enjoyed support from business, labor, and environmental groups, including the United Steelworkers (USW), Oregon AFL-CIO, Ironworkers Local 29, BlueGreen Alliance, and Williamette Technical Fabricators, a local steel fabrication company. Schnitzer Steel Industries, a Portland-based company that’s one of the largest manufacturers of recycled metal products in the country, also offered support for HB 3332.

AAM President Scott Paul noted in a statement that the bill’s passage is a major victory for Oregon workers and manufacturers — and the local economy.

“Rather than shipping the state’s taxpayer dollars to offshore businesses, Oregon is reinvesting in the local economy and cultivating a domestic supply chain that reduces the state’s carbon footprint,” he said. “This law aligns one of the West’s great manufacturing states with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s domestic content preferences, ensuring that the infrastructure that will keep our nation running for decades to come is Made in America.”

Oregon now joins other states with Buy America laws in place, including Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia.