President Donald Trump promised to invest in American jobs, but the infrastructure plan released by the White House on Monday fails to even mention Buy America.
Buy America preferences — which ensure domestic manufacturers and workers get the first shot at government procurement contracts — have covered federal highway and transit spending since the 1980s. But growing loopholes allow projects like the Chinese-made San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to support foreign jobs with our tax dollars.
Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
"The president promised on Inauguration Day that his infrastructure plan would 'follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.'
"Today, that promise seems to have disappeared. We hope the White House will swiftly clarify its position on Buy America for infrastructure.
"American workers are eager to supply the steel and other materials that form the spine of our nation's infrastructure. They deserve a policy that explicitly supports and expands Buy America.
"Infrastructure investment is vital to our economy. We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to advance a real plan for robust infrastructure investment into law."
Nearly a dozen manufacturing associations, including AAM, asked the president in January to include strong Buy America policies in his infrastructure plan to "ensure that any increased demand for construction inputs benefits American manufacturers and their workers – rather than those in countries like China that seek to avail themselves of U.S. taxpayer dollars through anticompetitive practices."