Op-ed in San Francisco Chronicle: "Buy America, BART"
In a few weeks, the San Francisco Bay Area's BART transit system will decide on a $3 billion contract to purchase new train cars. The two leading bidders for the job are Alstom, a French company, that has committed to at least 95 percent American-made content in the cars they deliver. The other is Montreal-based Bombardier, which has scrambled to meet the minimum Buy America threshold of 60 percent U.S. materials and assembly.
Bombardier was also recently cited for lax management of its supply chain after defective parts from China were discovered in the trains that Bombardier manufactures for the Chicago Transit Authority.
In an op-ed this morning in the San Francisco Chronicle, Alliance for American Manufacturing Executive Director Scott Paul says that BART officials need to support U.S. manufacturing when making their decision, and go with the most "Made in America" option:
Having the option to purchase high-quality trains that are virtually 100 percent made in America should be attractive to BART.
Given California's high unemployment rate and loss of manufacturing jobs, this decision should be a no-brainer. But there are no guarantees. BART will hear recommendations from its staff on Thursday, and should make its final decision by May 10. Californians deserve not only a great transit system, but also more middle-class manufacturing jobs. The decision for BART is straightforward: Do enough to just get by, or lead. California has always led the way forward. BART, it's time to Buy America.
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