WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Monday announced his plans to reintroduce his legislation that will create jobs across Connecticut and the United States, and support U.S. manufacturers when competing for federal contracts against foreign companies. The 21st Century Buy American Act specifically strengthens American laws that would ensure the government prioritizes American-made goods, and would create up to 100,000 jobs according to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute. The American Jobs Matter Act, which Murphy originally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, will require the Department of Defense, for the first time, to measure their impact on domestic employment. Under this proposed legislation, the number of American jobs created or retained by manufactures and their impact on the U.S. economy must be taken into account by the U.S. government in awarding federal contracts.
President Biden has been a strong supporter of “Buy American” announcing his “Made in All of America” plan, which will create millions of new jobs across America.
“It’s simple: we should be spending taxpayer dollars on American made goods, not those made overseas, and President Biden gets it. Especially during an economic crisis, we need to be using government dollars to grow jobs at American companies instead of sending these contracts out of the country. That’s why I’m proud to announce that I’ll be reintroducing my two bills to create jobs across Connecticut and our country, so we can keep writing the American story by supporting our manufacturers and the U.S. economy wherever we can,” said Murphy.
Specifically, the 21st Century Buy American Act will:
- Close loopholes that allow federal agencies to waive Buy American requirements. By closing these loopholes, agencies would rarely be able to use a “public interest waiver” without considering long- and short-term effects on U.S. employment. Current loopholes in Buy American laws allow agencies to exploit this waiver, leaving U.S. manufacturers behind.
- Provide resources for U.S. manufacturers of items in short supply to help them compete against foreign manufacturers for U.S. government contracts. By claiming an item is “non-available” domestically, or almost non-available, federal agencies can avoid certain Buy American requirements. This legislation invests in new and existing manufacturers of non-available items or manufacturers who are the only domestic manufacturer of a specific item, ensuring that these companies – that are crucial to our long-term industrial base – receive the assistance they need to continue making items that are scarce in America. This is vital for America’s economy and national security.
- Increase the domestic content percentage requirement. The 21st Century Buy American Act will increase content percentage requirement for goods to be made in America. Therefore, in order to qualify as American-made, a company must produce a majority of its materials in the U.S.
Specifically, the American Jobs Matter Act will:
- Help protect and grow jobs in the United States. The American Jobs Matter Act will do this by requiring DoD to consider contractors’ “jobs impact statement” in addition to price, past performance, and other factors – to determine which firm should receive the manufacturing contract. A “jobs impact statement” would outline the number of jobs the manufacturing firm expects to create or retain in the United States if a government contract is awarded.