President Obama to Call for Infrastructure Investment. Will Buy America policy be included?
At noon tomorow, President Obama will deliver remarks at Washington, DC's Key Bridge to urge Congress to pass the infrastructure piece of the American Jobs Act. The president will identify much-needed investments in infrastructure projects, with the Key Bridge providing an example of a site that could benefit from investments in retrofitting.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has frequently pointed out that the nation's crumbling infrastructure is in dire need of repairs, retrofits, and upgrades. Such work is needed to maintain roads, bridges, and waterworks, but can also provide important employment for the nation's manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing employment gains from such infrastructure work could be improved significantly if the percentage of U.S.-made material inputs were increased through the use of "Buy America" requirements. Utilizing 100 percent domestically produced inputs for infrastructure projects could yield a 33 percent jump in total manufacturing jobs generated.
Unfortunately, some projects, such as the Oakland Bay Bridge, have settled for imported steel components from China. This short-term thinking has led to cost overruns and delays as the Chinese welded steel proved faulty.
Hopefully future projects, like the planned Hudson River crossing to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge in New York State, will utilize American-made components to boost jobs and ensure quality construction.
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