Senators introduce Buy America bill

Staff Writer

Senators from the country’s heartland are introducing a bill to apply rules of the Buy America program to all federal taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects.
Ohio senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown joined their counterparts from Indiana and Michigan, Mike Braun and Gary Peters respectively, in announcing the bipartisan bill, the Build America, Buy America Act, that would implement rules for using domestically produced iron, steel and manufactured products for federally-funded infrastructure projects.
Currently, the Buy America rules haven’t been completely enacted for all federal programs that provide grants for construction projects, Portman said.
As an example, the senators say Buy America requirements for the Federal Highway Administration have only been applied to iron and steel used to build structures. But the FHWA’s own estimates show the structures account for less than five percent of the costs of a typical highway project. Consequently, a majority of materials used to construct federally assisted roads and bridges don’t have to be produced in the U.S.
Sen. Brown said the Build America, Buy America Act closes those loopholes and ensures the Buy America statute results in domestic iron, steel and manufactured products for all federally funded infrastructure projects.
“We cannot allow foreign companies to continue to undercut our domestic industries. Without Buy America rules, we are allowing manufacturing to go elsewhere at the expense of taxpayer,” he said. “It’s simple, American tax dollars should go toward American-made projects that support American jobs.”
Under limited circumstances, the Federal Transit Administration may waive Buy America requirements if the agency finds that:
-application of Buy America is inconsistent with the public interest;
- the steel, iron, and goods produced in the U.S. are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality; or
- including domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent for transit vehicles such as buses, vans, cars, railcars, locomotives, trolley cars and buses, and ferry boats, as well as vehicles used for support services.
Sen. Brown introduced a similar bill in 2017.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association