Friday, August 20, 2010

Rep. Murphy: Buy American

Photo illustration: Alliance for American Manufacturing
I have to give Mr. Kirby credit for this post.  We live in CD 5 here in CT and Mr. K wanted me to write about Chris Murphy's Buy America initiative. Mr. K was in industrial sales covering New England for 20 years until his sales engineering position was downsized away. He is now teaching marketing, vocational and career education in an alternative high school. He knows firsthand how manufacturing has died in New England and is impressed with Murphy's work.

Murphy is chair of the newly formed Buy America Caucus. Here are the sobering [pdf] facts [pdf]:
  • Between 2007 and 2008, waivers to Buy American laws increased by 450 percent
  • In 2007, the Defense Department granted 14,159 waivers worth more than $5.7 billion in taxpayer money...
  • While the nation lost 800,000 manufacturing jobs in that year alone and Connecticut lost 3,000
  • The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a Buy America clause
  • Each new manufacturing job generates, on average, 4 new jobs in our economy
This bipartisan caucus is supporting laws that have been on the books for 70 years (starting with the Buy American Act of 1933) -- this is not new legislation and regulation. At least 84% of Americans support Buy American initiatives.

Murphy added these amendments to the House Defense spending bill that has moved to the Senate:
  • No exemption from "buy American" when DOD buys materials to be used overseas (as is currently the case)
  • Require DOD to report on waivers given each year with an analysis of domestic capacity and why a waiver was needed
  • Require DOD to consider waivers' impacts on U.S. jobs
In addition, Murphy has introduced HR 5637, the American Jobs Matter Act. This bill will "allow contracting officers to consider information regarding domestic employment before awarding a Federal contract, and for other purposes."

Nice work, Congressman.


Scott Boos said...

I think you will find these updated poll results helpful... 89% support for BA. See page 32.

Kirby said...

Thank you for the update, Scott.