WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced the American Jobs Matter Act (S. 1246) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The American Jobs Matter Act will require the Department of Defense, for the first time, to measure domestic employment as a factor in rewarding a manufacturing contract. Under this legislation, American manufacturing firms will be able to leverage their contribution to the U.S. economy to win federal contracts by demonstrating how many jobs they will create or retain with the award of a contract.
“This is a very simple proposal: the Defense Department should give preference to American manufacturers when awarding federal defense contracts,” said Murphy. “Most people assume that the American government already considers American jobs when we hand over our defense dollars to contractors. They don't, but they should. I’ve traveled the state hearing from manufacturers who keep Connecticut’s defense industry strong and the message is clear: every job that we create overseas by awarding contracts to foreign firms is one less job here in America. It’s time to change that.”
In the last five years, the Department of Defense has spent over $700 billion dollars on manufactured goods. An alarming portion of that spending—well over $100 billion since the Department of Defense began to comprehensively keep track—was spent on goods manufactured by foreign firms. During the same period, the United States lost over 1.7 million manufacturing jobs.
Murphy’s amendment would incentivize contractors to keep jobs in the United States by measuring domestic employment as a factor in awarding a contract. Under this amendment, domestic employment would be measured by a “jobs impact statement”, which would require a contractor to state the number of jobs it expects create or retain in the United States if the contract is awarded. This jobs impact statement would be one factor used by the Department of Defense when deciding which firm should receive a manufacturing contract, in addition to price, past performance, and other factors that are already considered.