And the early draft does no favors for Buy America policy. Not cool.
On Monday afternoon a (short) draft of the Trump administration’s plans for a federal infrastructure package leaked from the White House.
It’s important to remember, this is a draft. Only six pages long! The administration has reportedly been working on its plan for months, and the full thing is supposed to be, like, 70 pages. That makes it difficult to judge what was released on Monday in full.
Still, some have noticed some interesting inclusions and omissions.
Axios, for instance, saw that there isn’t any mention of a gas tax increase, which the White House had previously floated as a funding idea.
The Hill noted some of the financing mechanisms included put the bill at odds with the recent Republican tax code overhaul.
Here’s what we noticed: There’s no mention of Buy America procurement policies in there. Go look! Control-F it, and search for the term. They aren’t in there.
In fact, it appears to do the opposite of what Buy America rules are meant to do: According to this draft, the infrastructure plan would create loopholes so taxpayer-funded projects could be built with imported steel.
Needless to say, this flies in the face of what the president said on the campaign trail. Remember his big trade speech from the summer 2016?
If you don't want to watch the whole thing here’s what he says, starting at about the 32 minute mark:
A Trump administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure…It will be American steel that will fortify American's crumbling bridges…It will be American steel that rebuilds our inner cities…We are going to put American-produced steel back into the backbone of our country. This alone will create massive numbers of jobs. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump
The Alliance for American Manufacturing expects the president to stick to those pledges, and we put that in writing to the president on Monday evening. In doing so, we joined a coalition of likeminded manufacturing associations that want to see the final infrastructure plan help turn Trump’s Buy America campaign rhetoric into reality.
The federal government should continue to have a robust role in funding infrastructure projects and any new initiatives seeking to shift the funding burden to the states or leverage private dollars should be matched with policies that put American manufacturers and their workers first.
Read the whole letter here.