Maximizing Taxpayer Investment
Buy America puts U.S. tax dollars right back into American workers, companies, and communities. That creates jobs, boosts our economy, and strengthens American manufacturing.
Federal tax dollars are used to purchase iron, steel, and manufactured goods in two ways: Through direct government purchases and in the form of grants to states and localities for public investments like roads and bridges. In both cases, domestic preference requirements apply.
Buy American rules, in place since 1933, ensure that certain direct federal purchases are “Made in America.” Buy America rules, in place since 1982, apply to road, bridge, and mass transit projects. These laws have been riddled with loopholes and waivers over time. But recently, Congress and the Biden administration have acted to expand their coverage and strengthen their requirements through executive orders and Build America, Buy America rules passed in 2021.
Buy America is popular, as one poll found 83% of registered voters favor investing taxpayer money into American-made products instead of imports. Even though domestic preferences have spurred on new industries and helped stabilize iron and steel production, the rules face constant threats from importers, foreign nations, and contractors.
We shouldn’t spend tax dollars outside of the country if we can make it here. That’s local economic activity generated elsewhere, at a time when every dollar spent on procurement should be an investment in American jobs. We should keep expanding Buy America laws and strengthening the ones we already have, which will create millions of good jobs and reinvest taxpayer dollars right back into American communities.