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"Buy American" Bill to Boost Job Creation

Lipinkski Introduces "Buy American" Bill to Boost Job Creation and Ensure Taxpayer Dollars are Spent in the U.S.

By Community Contributor Isaac Sancken

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) introduced the Buy American Improvement Act of 2017 to create American jobs, promote the domestic manufacturing industry, increase transparency and accountability in government procurement, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in the U.S. whenever practicable.

"Despite the fact that too many Americans still can't find good jobs, the federal government continues to buy many products outside our country instead of using our hard-earned tax dollars to buy American products and hire American workers," said Rep. Lipinski. "The Buy American Improvement Act will change that. Specifically, my bill will apply 'Buy American' requirements to federal spending programs that are not covered in current law and will close gaping loopholes in programs where 'Buy American' requirements are already law. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation is especially important now with interest from the President and the new Congress in passing a comprehensive and transformative transportation infrastructure bill."

The bill also sets domestic content standards for indirect purchases by U.S. Department of Transportation grantees, ensuring that tax dollars spent on aviation, highway, transit, and rail infrastructure will support U.S. manufacturing and mining jobs, rather than jobs in other countries. In addition, while "Buy America" has traditionally applied only to transportation projects, Lipinski's bill would expand these requirements to a number of other federal grant programs.

Lipinski's legislation will help American companies and workers by requiring federal agencies to publicly disclose "Buy American" waivers in the Federal Register and to explain their justification for the waiver. It will also create a consolidated annual report that lists the total amount and dollar value of all foreign purchases and the number of waivers granted. This transparency will allow American companies to see where there are opportunities to sell to the federal government and put more Americans to work.

"We are pleased that Congressman Lipinski is introducing legislation to increase the amount of American-made iron, steel, and manufactured products used in U.S. infrastructure," said the Alliance for American Manufacturing - a non-profit, non-partisan partnership. "'Buy America' preferences create jobs and support U.S. national security. It makes no sense for the government to buy steel from China when workers in Illinois are ready to meet the challenge. Rep. Lipinski has been fighting for stronger 'Buy America' preferences for years and we continue to support his efforts with the 'Buy American Improvement Act'."

Other organizations endorsing the bill include the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, BlueGreen Alliance, Coalition for a Prosperous America, International Association of Machines and Aerospace Workers, Lake Carriers' Association, Steel Manufacturers Association, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and United Steelworkers.

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