WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden for signature.
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill represents a positive step towards investing in our nation’s future. However, Congress has not yet remedied the problems that cause the benefits to flow to other countries rather than American workers and domestic supply chains,” said Zach Mottl, Chairman of CPA. ”A similar leakage problem occurred in President Obama’s stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Congress should absolutely invest in our nation’s infrastructure, but it’s imperative that that investment benefits American workers and businesses.”
CPA has long called for fixing loopholes in Buy America rules. In September, CPA sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to use every trade, tax, and support policy at his disposal to ensure that U.S. solar manufacturers and workers continue investing in domestic solar supply chain capacity to achieve the administration’s emission reduction goals.
“Few outside of Congress know that the bipartisan infrastructure bill’s Buy American loopholes are a gift to Chinese solar companies despite lawmakers public commitments and high profile work to rebuild our domestic solar supply chain,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Furthermore, the bill continues to rely on outdated international trade rules that require the federal government to treat the goods of over 40 countries as ’Made in the USA’ despite being produced by foreign companies and workers. Investing taxpayer dollars in our infrastructure should mean investing in American businesses and workers.”
In February, CPA sent a letter to President Biden asking that he take into consideration three suggestions to ensure the strongest Buy American provisions possible. CPA’s Annual Conference in March focused specifically on Buy American laws and current loopholes in these rules. In May, CPA Chief Economist Jeff Ferry wrote why Biden’s Buy American ambitions make good economic sense.
Earlier this year, CPA called on the Biden administration to further boost America’s domestic manufacturers and support American workers by quitting the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Government Procurement Act (GPA). This move would “help America economically recover from COVID by withdrawing from the GPA—and start allocating federal contracts to America’s hardworking manufacturers rather than overseas companies.” The GPA requires member countries to open all of their government contracts to bidding from foreign companies. As such, these outdated international trade rules prevent the Biden administration from giving preference to U.S. companies and workers.