At the State of the Union address last month President Biden covered a variety of topics and, regardless of your political leanings, you might be interested in what he had to say about manufacturing. If you didn’t tune in, here’s a highlight about the Buy American Act.
Biden stated, “Buy American has been the law of the land since 1933. But for too long, past administrations have found ways to get around it…I’m announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.” These words hold much promise.
If followed through, these standards would provide a huge boost to such industries as US Steel. The additional attention might even provide more incentive to uphold environmental promises to stay competitive in the global market. But Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul maintains some skepticism.
In a recent article “Opinion: For good of Ohio, Biden, government must give teeth to Buy America” he writes: “The U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, is proposing to allow in its contracts non-compliant products and materials at an amount that exceeds the total cost of the materials in many projects. In effect, that would create another huge loophole to exploit for importers – all under the auspices of creating a market for domestic manufacturers.”
Beyond steel, the concern for how the Buy American act is implemented impacts all construction projects. Ohio has several large infrastructures works down the pipeline, much like Connecticut. Both states also have highly skilled workforces and agricultural histories in common. With this in mind, Scott Paul’s concerns for Ohio could also apply to CT, should any of its many state construction projects also require federal backing. Check out the full list of the planned CT gov construction projects.
Shifting focus north of CT, similarly frustrating noncompliance for safety and assembly standards is familiar to members of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Regarding Springfield’s planned Orange and Red line cars, Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch writes this in the Alliance for American Manufacturing blog post: “ …it shouldn’t really be much of a surprise that the project is now significantly behind schedule and the 90 out of 340 rail cars that have been built have been riddled with major safety problems.”
This lack of surprise stems from the numerous questionable practices performed by the Chinese state-owned contract holder of the project: CRRC.
At the end of the day Buy American isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. After all, as the adage says, “You get what you paid for.” If you’re in need of products or services and want to start in CT, Contact Us and we can assist in finding the solution that’s right for your challenge.