HARTFORD – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) stood with Connecticut manufacturers on Wednesday and announced the reintroduction of his American Jobs Matter Act – legislation to protect and grow manufacturing jobs in Connecticut. Murphy's bill would require the Department of Defense (DoD), for the first time, to take into account U.S. jobs when awarding government contracts to manufacturers. This would allow American manufacturing firms to leverage their contribution to the U.S. economy and win federal contracts by demonstrating how many jobs they will create or retain with the award of a contract. U.S. Senator Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) are original cosponsors of this legislation.
Since 2007, the Department of Defense spent over $200 billion on goods manufactured by foreign firms. During the same period of time, the United States lost over 1.7 million manufacturing jobs.
“Every contract DoD gives to a company abroad means fewer jobs here at home in the United States,” said Murphy. “The manufacturers I stood with today agree—we should be using the billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money that our government spends on manufactured goods to support American businesses and American workers. My American Jobs Matter Act is a commonsense way to make sure that happens.”
“American dollars should support American jobs,” said Blumenthal. “Our American defense manufacturing workers—particularly those in Connecticut—exhibit exceptional expertise in producing the highest quality equipment for our service men and women. The Department of Defense should make every effort to buy American, promoting economic growth and military security."
Specifically, Murphy’s bill would help grow employment in the United States 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.
The manufacturing industry plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut communities, creating new jobs and accelerating our state’s economy. Today, Connecticut’s 4,600 manufacturers account for 10% of the state’s jobs and 87% of the state’s total exports.