Town Hall Meeting in Fresno, CA Presses Case for American-Made High-Speed Rail in California's Central Valley.
Last night's Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) town hall meeting in Fresno, California was a big success. Before a crowd of 150 concerned voters, AAM President Scott Paul made the case for American-made components in California's burgeoning high-speed rail transit project in the Central Valley. Paul pointed out that "Buy America" requirements apply for more than $3 billion in funding that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has received from the Obama administration to begin building the rail system.
Fresno Bee reporter Tim Sheehan quoted Paul on the need to follow through on Buy America requirements intended to create a preference for U.S.-made steel and other manufactured goods on projects for which federal stimulus dollars are spent. As Paul explained, it's important to hold goverment officials accountable:
"There are loopholes," he said, pointing to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, in which steel from China was used for a portion of the project where federal money was not used. A lot depends on how dedicated the contractors are to working with American suppliers, he said.
"The contractors who bid on projects, if they want to increase their margins, they want to source it from the absolute cheapest place," Paul said. Using domestic materials, however, carries other economic benefits beyond the price tag, he added.
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