HARTFORD — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has led a consistent push in Congress to strengthen and improve Buy American laws and support U.S. manufacturing, released a statement on Tuesday after President Trump announced changes to enforcement of Buy American procurement laws. Earlier this year, Murphy called on President Trump to take five specific executive actions to close loopholes in Buy American laws that hurt American manufacturers. He also requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office investigate U.S. government compliance with laws and regulations – such as the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment – that require U.S. agencies to prioritize the purchase of American-made goods. Murphy is the author of the 21st Century Buy American Act and American Jobs Matter Act to protect and grow American manufacturing jobs.
“Today’s executive actions on Buy American laws are a big step in the right direction, and I’m glad President Trump included some of my ideas I sent over during his first week in office,” said Murphy. “I reached out to the White House because this is an area where I know President Trump and Democrats can work together. Spending tax dollars at home instead of overseas isn’t a partisan issue. I hope the president will continue to build on this positive step by adopting my other recommendations and helping me pass legislation to strengthen Buy American laws so we can protect Connecticut workers and grow jobs.”
Murphy has persistently called for the U.S. government to strengthen Buy American requirements and improve compliance with existing laws. Weeks after President Trump walked back his promise and announced that the slated Keystone XL pipeline would not be constructed in entirety with American-made steel, Murphy joined a group of senators in urging the administration to ensure, at minimum, that pipelines be constructed and maintained with American-made products and equipment. Last year, in response to distressing reports revealing that the Department of Defense (DoD) contracting personnel did not consistently comply with the Berry Amendment or the Buy American Act, Murphy called for the swift re-training of personnel to improve compliance. The previous year, DoD Inspector General released a similar report revealing that 40% of U.S. Navy contracts reviewed also violated either the Buy American Act or the Berry Amendment.