WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, on Thursday released the following statement after the Trump administration announced a Buy American executive order to support U.S. manufacturing. Specifically, the executive order directs federal agencies to use, to the greatest extent possible, products manufactured in the United States to fulfill federal contracts. Murphy urged the Trump administration to go further and increase accountability around complying with Buy American laws, especially after multiple non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations found Buy American violations. For example, in December 2018, the GAO found the Department of Defense spent $18 million on foreign aircraft parts that should have been manufactured in the United States.
Murphy also called on Congress to do more to fix broken Buy American laws, including passing his BuyAmerican.gov Act to make it easier for U.S. manufacturers to compete for federal contracts and his American Jobs Matter Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Defense to take into account U.S. jobs when awarding government contracts to manufacturers.
“There’s not a lot that President Trump and I agree on. But as I’ve said from the beginning, if President Trump is doing something to help Connecticut, I’ll work with him. I’ve been on a crusade for years to fix our broken Buy American laws, and I’m glad I’ve gotten to work with the president on this issue. It’s simple—we should be spending our taxpayer money on American-made goods, not goods made overseas. It grows manufacturing jobs, and it protects our national security,” said Murphy.
“The president’s new executive order is a good small step forward, but we’ve got to do a lot more than just ‘encourage’ federal agencies to buy U.S. goods. We need to hold agencies accountable for actually doing that. The Department of Defense has over and over again exploited waivers to get around Buy American laws. We need to pass my BuyAmerican.gov Act to increase transparency around who is actually getting these contracts, and then we need to go even further and close loopholes in the Buy American law,” added Murphy.