HARTFORD - U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has announced the BuyAmerican.gov Act, calling on the General Services Administration to establish a central website for information concerning Buy American Act waivers.
On the website, the public would be able to view every waiver federal agencies use to get around Buy American Act requirements. It will also include contact information for contracting agencies.
This new website will allow manufacturers and other interested parties to identify contract opportunities and hold federal agencies accountable for abusing the waivers.
“Buy American is the law of the land for a very good reason: Taxpayer dollars should not go to create jobs overseas when they can create those jobs here in America,” Murphy said.
Under current law, federal agencies may use Buy American Act waivers to buy goods or services from foreign companies in extraordinary circumstances such as when an American-made product is unavailable or when buying American would increase the cost of a product to prohibitively high levels.
Federal agencies routinely fail to follow proper protocols and overuse this waiver authority without taking into consideration how waivers affect U.S. jobs, according to Murphy.
“Every single time a federal agency sends a contract overseas, it means fewer jobs here at home. Just look at what happened to Ansonia Copper & Brass,” Murphy said.
Ansonia Copper & Brass employed as many as 10,000 people for several decades.
Despite laws requiring the Department of Defense to purchase American-made materials, Ansonia Copper & Brass lost federal contracts to overseas companies.
As a result, Ansonia Copper and Brass closed in 2013.
“The first step toward solving this problem is to increase transparency so the American people can see when the government is trying to skirt the law. BuyAmerican.gov will hold the government accountable to its people, and help us all make sure our government isn’t improperly sending our money overseas,” Murphy said.
In addition to creating the BuyAmerican.gov website, Murphy’s bill codifies President Trump’s Buy American Executive Order and requires agencies to report on the implementation of, and compliance with, Buy American laws
In order to protect and grow manufacturing jobs in Connecticut Murphy has introduced the 21st Century Buy American Act and the American Jobs Matter Act, which aim to strengthen existing Buy American standards.
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or email@example.com