Both houses of the legislature and the governor have introduced legislation to enact stronger laws requiring that when taxpayer dollars are used on public works projects we try to use American made iron and steel products to the greatest extent possible. Both houses have also included these provisions in their one-house budget proposals over the last two years and public support for strengthening Buy American is through the roof.
It is now time to act. Several other states have recently passed legislation, including Texas and New Jersey and others such as Maryland and Oregon have enacted laws. The federal government has always required this on federally funded projects.
The law is nothing new and it is not penal or relatable in any way to any other nation. The law would simply help American manufacturers that pay their workers decent wages and adhere to environmental and labor standards to be able to compete with international companies that have no such costs to build into their products. In fact, some nations are known to manipulate their currency, do not abide by any fair and free trade rules and some are state owned, meaning the playing field is not level and United State manufacturers cannot compete in their own backyard.
More importantly, the public supports Buy American because it is ultimately the taxpayers who fund our roads, bridges and infrastructure. Voters are the ones demanding that we maximize the jobs return on our tax investments to create not only good construction jobs, but also manufacturing jobs.
We urge both houses and the Governor to pass Buy American now, so we can keep New Yorkers and workers across the nation working.
Mario Cilento, President