Create jobs: Buy American
That's why I am proud to sponsor Senate Bill 432, Procurement -- Maryland Buy American Steel and Manufactured Goods Act. This bill is an important measure for rebuilding our state's and our nation's economy, by building upon our existing Buy American Steel Act. SB 432 will expand the law to require that other manufactured goods purchased for use in public works projects be domestically sourced.
If enacted, this bill will directly result in new job opportunities for thousands of unemployed workers, and help restore a strong manufacturing base for our nation's economy. By enacting this bill, we are fulfilling our duty to ensure that the state maximizes the job creation impact of our spending on public works projects.
"Buy American" standards have been an important feature of our nation's economic recovery strategies for nearly 80 years, and have enjoyed bipartisan support of presidents from FDR to Ronald Reagan. In recent polling 9 out of 10 Democrats and Republicans alike support Buy American policies.
With this bill we can ensure that Maryland puts several thousand more people back to work, with minimal increases in costs. This bill would not alter the existing caps on material cost increases. Because material costs make up only a portion of total spending on public works projects, even if American-made materials cost more, the total cost increase is still manageable, and a worthwhile investment in job creation and economic growth. A 2009 study found that creating manufacturing jobs has a multiplier effect on the entire economy; for each new manufacturing job four to five additional jobs are created.
With more than four unemployed job seekers for every available job, millions of Americans are still unable to find work. If we do not address this problem now, we run the risk of losing a generation of Americans to the ravages of the Great Recession. I submit that we have a moral as well as a fiduciary duty to maximize the impact of taxpayer dollars in helping people get back on their feet.
The Buy American Act will encourage companies to hire more workers in the United States and help get the Maryland economy back on track.
is a Maryland state senator
representing District 3.