WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, on Thursday introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 that would increase the Buy American requirements on major defense programs to 100% domestic content. Currently, equipment that has only 50% of its content from U.S. suppliers is considered compliant with the Buy American Act. Requiring 100% of the products purchased by the Defense Department to be made in America will support U.S. manufacturers and create jobs. It will also protect our national security by defending the supply chain for our major defense programs against foreign disruptions.
Murphy’s amendment is endorsed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
“When the government spends taxpayer dollars, our money should go to help American manufacturers. It’s just common sense. There is no shortage of talented manufacturers in Connecticut, who are making some of the best defense products in the world. My amendment will make sure that we’re pumping money into local economies and creating good paying jobs across the country at a time when we need them most,” said Murphy.
Murphy has been a champion of Buy American laws since his time in Congress. After hearing concerns in 2018 from a Connecticut-based drone manufacturer, Murphy called on then U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis to ban Chinese-made commercial drones at the DoD and instead support U.S. drone manufacturers. DoD followed Murphy’s call and halted the purchase of all small commercial drones, including those made by Da Jiang Innovations. Additionally, Murphy secured more transparency and critical protections for American companies against foreign-made drones in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2019, which partially funds the Department of Interior. This was critical for national security and a “Buy American” victory for Connecticut-based companies that have to compete with artificially priced Chinese-made drones. Murphy’s provision banning the use of Chinese-made drones was included in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Murphy and U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) also introduced the American Security Drone Act of 2019 prohibiting the U.S. government from purchasing drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats like Iran and China.
After a series of meetings and discussions with the White House and a U.S. General Services Administration feasibility report mandated by a Murphy appropriations provision, Murphy successfully convinced the Trump administration to create BuyAmerican.gov based on Murphy and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)’s BuyAmerican.gov Act. Murphy first suggested the BuyAmerican.gov website in a letter he sent to President Trump outlining five executive actions that the president should take to close loopholes in Buy American laws.
Earlier this year, Murphy was presented with the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) 2020 Sentinel Award for his legislative leadership on behalf of the domestic defense industrial base that supports U.S. service members and homeland security personnel. The Sentinel Award specifically recognizes members of Congress for their efforts to provide high quality, American-made personal protective gear, uniforms, footwear and equipment to the Federal government at the best value to the taxpayer.