WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced on Wednesday an amendment to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that will ensure the Defense Department is complying with Buy American purchasing requirements. Their amendment will ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are being used to benefit American workers and businesses, not foreign companies. The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes annual defense spending and is currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
“At a time when too many good manufacturing jobs are being sent overseas, Congress should be taking every action to help American manufacturers. Our amendment will help break the Pentagon’s addiction to sending American taxpayer dollars to foreign companies,” said Murphy. “Closing this massive loophole will help us finally make sure the Department of Defense buys American goods made by American workers, without restricting their ability to quickly purchase urgently needed items.”
“It’s common sense that American tax dollars be used to purchase products made in America, not overseas,” said Stabenow. “That’s why I introduced these three amendments to toughen up our Buy American requirements so that American businesses and workers are put first. Michigan’s defense industry supports over 105,000 jobs, and these talented workers and businesses should have priority over foreign companies for federal contracts.”
Currently, the Department of Defense uses a loophole so that Buy American requirements do not apply if a federal agency is procuring a product to be used overseas. Over the past five years, the DoD spent more than $35 billion on over 150,000 products – including motorcycles, radios, and even aerospace equipment– that did not meet Buy American rules. Murphy and Stabenow’s amendment would close this loophole and require the Department of Defense to prioritize products made in the United States.