Detroit Free Press: Stabenow, Peters call for strengthening Buy American laws
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said today she’ll propose changes to strengthen laws intended to ensure that the federal government purchases items made in the U.S.
Speaking in Grand Haven, Stabenow, D-Mich., said her legislation closes loopholes in long-standing Buy American laws, saying federal agencies need to be held accountable for instances in which taxpayer funds are used to purchase items made overseas.
“It’s common sense that American tax dollars be used to purchase products made in America,” said Stabenow. If passed, her legislation would say an agency head could not determine U.S. prices for an item are unreasonable unless they added more than 25% to the overall cost.
Her proposal would also require a formal review of cases in which items are procured from outside the U.S. if they are not needed on an urgent basis and says that agency heads can’t determine that items are unavailable inside the U.S. without first looking into whether suppliers could initiate their production.
It also calls for a yearly report looking at federal acquisitions, including details on those procured from overseas providers, and limits the circumstances under which federal agencies can waive Buy American protections.
Stabenow announced the legislation this morning at an event with Michael Voevodsky, CEO of R.A. Miller Industries, which designs and makes advanced antenna systems for military communications. Stabenow said the company is “one of many” in the U.S. “that have felt the impact of improper enforcement of Buy American standards.”
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is a cosponsor of the legislation.
“Spending American tax dollars on products made by American workers not only helps create jobs, it’s a critical component of protecting our national security, especially when it comes to equipment for our service members,” said Peters.
By: Todd Spangler
Source: Detroit Free Press
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