03.31.17

Peters, Stabenow Announce Legislation to Toughen Up Buy American Act and Create More Jobs at Home

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced the Make It In America Act, which closes loopholes in the current Buy American law so the federal government is spending American tax dollars to buy products made in America. This Act also holds federal agencies accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars. 

“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 servicemembers,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to join Senator Stabenow in introducing this commonsense legislation that will improve the enforcement of Buy American rules to help boost Michigan’s manufacturing industry and grow our economy.”

“It’s common sense that American tax dollars be used to purchase products made in America, not overseas,” said Senator Stabenow.  “My Make It In America Act will create more opportunities for American jobs by strengthening our current Buy American law and holding federal agencies accountable.  The products needed by our federal agencies, including critical defense systems, are being designed and made by talented Michigan workers and workers across the country. American jobs and American businesses need to be our highest priority."

The Buy American Act, which was passed in 1933, gives priority to American companies when the federal government purchases goods.  However, the current law has numerous exemptions.

Recently, the federal government has awarded over $70 billion in contracts to foreign companies that do not manufacture products here in the United States.  In fact, a recent Department of Defense Inspector General report found that the Air Force inconsistently enforced Buy American requirements and purchased foreign-made goods. 

In certain instances, the Buy American Act can be waived, such as if the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, if doing so is in the public interest, or if the product will be used overseas. The Make It In America Act would make it harder to use these waivers and require agencies to submit an annual report to Congress on the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on foreign made goods.