WRDA bill will include five years of Buy America rules.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has been lately keeping an eye on legislation working its way through Capitol Hill: The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bill that parcels out funding for water infrastructure projects. We think WRDA should include strong and permanent Buy America language, so that WRDA projects include American-made iron and steel.
Buy America works. It’s smart policy that efficiently spreads money through the domestic economy, and it enjoys broad public support.
And it’s exactly the kind of thing that our Commander in Chief has publicly supported in the past.
The Senate’s version of the WRDA bill included legislation put forth by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) that would indeed make Buy America rules ironclad – and permanent. President Trump even endorsed Baldwin’s proposal! Bipartisanship!
But would Buy America make it into the WRDA bill working its way through the House – and would it ultimately be included when the two chambers agreed on legislation?
Well, we have a bill.
Good news first: Buy America did make it into the final bill. That’s good!
Kinda bad news second: It isn’t permanent!
The Buy America provision in this WRDA authorization will last for five years, but more stability (like a permanent rule) is needed to really secure a procurement market for domestic manufacturers – and grant them the certainty needed to plan for the future.
Including Buy America rules in our water infrastructure funding legislation is a good start. Next time around, though, lawmakers should make it permanent.