Controversy over 'Buy America' preferences in California
Infrastructure, specifically roads, is the lifeblood of the greater Los Angeles area and construction on these roads is always a hot-button issue. Currently, the Riverseide, California area is planning a massive makeover of Highway 91 between Interstate 15 and the Riverside County-Orange County line, and the project is subject to Buy America requirements.
Local officials are concerned that Buy America requirements could stall the projects and cost jobs.
Instead of finding ways to meet the Buy America laws, construction companies and local government officials are now petitioning the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation to waive the requirements.
Beaumont, California Mayor Roger Berg says he believes that the California Department of Transportation ought to be finding a way to meet the requirement rather than fighting it.
Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), we agree. Buy America requirements and laws are proven to support American jobs and create more of them. The facts support Buy America and polling shows they have teh strong support of the American people.
Of course, there are market limitations to Buy America requirements. If domestic products are not available or exorbitantly expensive, the government can purchase from overseas. But when American companies get a first shot at procurement, federal, state, and local governments seldom need to shop overseas.
When it comes to infrastructure, we can fix our roads and create jobs if we simply buy American.
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