Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently released a report on the US Buy America laws and the impact of waivers on manufacturers, with a focus on Connecticut.
Connecticut has been one of the centers of manufacturing in the United States for centuries, and we are now one of the premiere aerospace and defense manufacturers in the world. Manufacturers account for over 90% of Connecticut’s exports, employ over 160,000 workers in the state, and account for over 11% of the state’s Gross State Product. Manufacturing employees in Connecticut can expect to make a comfortable living, earning 57% more than employees in non-manufacturing jobs.
The United States Government, and specifically the Department of Defense (DoD), is the largest purchaser of manufactured goods in the world. However, DoD sometimes makes it harder for Connecticut to benefit from the economic ripple effects of the purchase of manufactured goods. This report shows that since 2007, the Department of Defense has spent billions of dollars on goods manufactured by foreign companies. Through waivers to the Buy American Act, the statute that is supposed to give preference to American manufacturers in procurement, the U.S. government has shipped billions of dollars and untold thousands of jobs overseas. These decisions create jobs in foreign countries instead of in Connecticut.
The Buy American Act, which governs federal procurement, has been amended and eroded since its inception in 1933.
In 2007, a new reporting requirement was added to the Buy American Act. Under P.L. 110-28, the head of each federal agency is required to annually report to Congress concerning procurements from non-domestic sources. Since FY 2007, the Department of Defense has granted 274,186 waivers of the Buy American Act.
There are currently eight statutory authorities for which the Department of Defense may grant a Buy American waiver.
Since 2007, the Department of Defense awarded $163,400,000,000 to foreign manufacturers.