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California Congressman Introduces Make It In America Act “To Bring Good Manufacturing Jobs Back To America”

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Reposted from King & Spalding’s Trade & Manufacturing Alert

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California Congressman Introduces Make It In America Act “To Bring Good Manufacturing Jobs Back To America”

Patrick Togni | August 2012 | Trade & Mfg Alert

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) recently introduced H.R. 613, the Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains, and Transit: Make It In America Act (“Make It In America Act”). The legislation would make amendments to Buy America Act provisions of current law regarding various transportation sectors, including airports, highways, high-speed rail, Amtrak, buses, light rail, and heavy rail. The Make It In America Act is part of the Make It In America agenda and legislative initiative for Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives whose goal is to rebuild manufacturing in America.

Specifically, the Make It In America Act would eliminate certain types of waivers to Buy America Act requirements that otherwise mandate use of steel, iron, and manufactured goods that are produced in the United States.

Airports, Buses, Light Rail, and Heavy Rail

Under current law, waivers to Buy America Act requirements may be obtained in situations where the requirement to use only steel, iron, and manufactured goods produced in the United States is “inconsistent with the public interest” or the U.S.-origin steel or goods “are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality.”

The Make It In America Act eliminates these waivers and instead would allow limited use of non-U.S. steel, iron, and manufactured goods provided that at least 60 percent of the components are produced in the United States for obligations made on or before December 31, 2011 and at least 80 percent of the components are produced in the United States for obligations made in the period from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. This phase-out period would end completely on January 1, 2014, thus ending the potential for waivers completely at that time should the proposed bill be enacted.

Highways, Roadways, and High Speed Rail

The Make It In America Act eliminates most waivers available under current law and instead would allow use of non-U.S. steel and manufactured goods only where “including domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent.”

Amtrak

The Make It In America Act eliminates all waivers available under current law that apply to Amtrak projects where the “articles, materials, or supplies bought” are priced at at least $1,000,000.

Prospects For Enactment

The prospects for action on Make It In America Act before the 2012 elections are uncertain, but it is clear that the proposed legislation will be a part of the blueprint for Congressional Democrats to revitalize American manufacturing for some time to come.

3 Responses to “California Congressman Introduces Make It In America Act “To Bring Good Manufacturing Jobs Back To America””

  1. The Protectionist says:

    Another drop in the bucket in an attempt to put out a raging economic forest fire. We need a hurricance of tariffs to fix this problem.

    • Bruce Bishop says:

      Protectionist,

      I totally agree with your “drop in the bucket,” analogy.

      I have been advocating Warren Buffett’s “Balanced Trade” for the past year. There is an excellent book, “Trading Away Our Future,” by Raymond, Howard and Jesse Richman, which explains the Buffett proposal and provides an alternative approach to its application. You can find the book at http://www.idealtaxes.com.

      Also, you can Google “balanced trade.”

      In short, our government could mandate that we import no more from China than China imports from us. This would bring the balance of trade (after a five year phase-in) to zero and would bring back millions of our manufacturing jobs.

      I favor “balanced trade” over tariffs because it would allow the free market to select the most appropriate products for us to produce here. Of course, I would favor tariffs over doing nothing at all.

  2. don says:

    Manufacturing jobs are created where cost are lower. The following is from a report prepared for congress in dec 2009 “Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to
    vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated
    $400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water
    treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat
    ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical
    treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 Most of this expense will be borne by
    foreign shipping companies, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 and
    likely passed along to consumers of products imported on these ships.”
    PRESIDENT OBAMA AS COMMANDER AND CHIEF HAS SET UP A MILITARY PLAN UNDER HIS ADMINISTRATION THAT WILL EASY THE COST BURDEN FOR FOREIGN SHIPS DRAGGING OUT PROTECTION OF AMERICAN WATERS FOR UP TO TWO PLUS DECADES, DESIGNED TO HELP FOREIGN MANUFACTURING KEEP DELIVERING CHEAP FOREIGN MADE GOODS TO OUR LARGEST EMPLOYERS, THE BIG BOX STORES

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