Pennsylvania Senator unveils new "Buy America" bill

December 20, 2011

U.S. Senator Bob Casey unveiled a new bill that would help to ensure that taxpayer money is used to purchase American-made goods, according to a release from the Senator.

The "Invest in American Jobs Act" would give preference to American-made steel, iron and manufactured goods used to construct projects financed by taxpayers.

Casey made the announcement while standing with manufacturing workers in Pittsburgh, as he made the case for government support of American industry.

"Any time the federal government lays down a new piece of infrastructure it should be stamped with the words 'Made in America,'" Casey said. "Buying American-made goods will help rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create jobs in Pennsylvania instead of China."

The move by the Senator was applauded by several manufacturers and industry leaders in Pennsylvania.

Don Foster of L.B. Foster noted that the "proactive jobs bill" will help promote growth in the industry.

"Our state’s manufacturing segment and our nation’s steel sector should applaud Senator Casey’s efforts to increase investment in U.S. made goods," Foster said, according to the release. "Here in Pennsylvania, we have globally competitive companies producing quality world-class products with an outstanding dedicated workforce."

Darryl DiOrio, President of Gautier Steel, also voiced his support for the legislation, and noted its potential effect on the state of Pennsylvania.

"Gautier and the employees of Gautier strongly support Senator Casey’s effort to enact ‘Buy American Legislation’ for infrastructure.  One of Gautier’s primary product lines is bridge decking.  This is a Pennsylvania based industry."

Casey introduced the legislation with Senator Sherrod Brown. The "Invest in American Jobs Act" would strengthen existing "Buy America" requirements for investments in highway, bridge, public transit, rail and aviation infrastructure and equipment to ensure that "all of the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in these projects is produced in the United States."

The legislation would also apply "Buy America" to other investments in transportation and infrastructure and would require federal agencies to justify any proposed waiver of the Buy America requirements, according to the release.

The release also noted that a recent University of Massachusetts study, outlined further by American, found that a 100 percent domestic preference on infrastructure spending would increase job creation by 33 percent.