A Good Vote

Posted by scapozzola on 06/27/2008

Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee voted unanimously to approved H.R. 5935, a bill requiring certain federal agencies to use American-made steel for public works projects.  Sponsored by Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN), the bill (known as the “America Steel First Act of 2008”) requires construction projects executed by the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Transportation to use 100 percent American steel unless an exception applies. As ManufactureThis noted last fall, pipe made in China has been used in the construction of a border fence between the United States and Mexico. In response, Rep. Visclosky introduced the bill, explaining, "The American Steel First Act will combat unfair steel imports by requiring the increased use of domestic steel products in federal projects.  It will give our steel industry a boost, create much-needed American jobs, and save lives." mickey-bolt-steel-caucus.JPG  In April AAM field coordinator Mickey Bolt testified on this very subject before the Congressional Steel Caucus.  In his prepared testimony, he noted: “While the American steel pipe and tube industry was closing down…DHS was using American taxpayers’ money to purchase pipe from Chinese manufacturers, securing the future of pipe workers in China, not the U.S.  This is wrong. In my view, the application of the Buy American Act was passed with the intent that American taxpayers’ money should be used to support American industries and American workers — and not to support subsidized industries in China.  The pipe that was used in the construction of the border fence should have been produced by U. S. manufacturers and by USW members, instead of being outsourced to China.  This example highlights the problem of giant contractors only being concerned with securing the cheapest goods to maximize profits, regardless of the quality of the product, or whether it was domestically produced.” As ManufactureThis  earlier this week, dumped Chinese steel has adversely affected U.S. steel pipe producers.  Legislation requiring that national security work be sourced from reliable domestic producers seems a logical step toward retaining a strong American defense industrial base.  ManufactureThis commends the Homeland Security Committee for recognizing this.

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