We have seen that Buy American requirements have had a strong impact in creating good middle class jobs here in the United States (U.S.). For example, manufacturing employment gains from infrastructure investment can increase by one-third if strong domestic sourcing requirements are included. Furthermore, as a recent White House report noted, U.S. manufacturing plays an outsized role in supporting and driving American innovation, including 60% of all U.S. research and development employees, 75% of U.S. private sector research and development, and the vast majority of all patents issued in the United States. Meanwhile, support for Buy American policies unites Americans across party lines, with recent polls showing more than 90% support.The Illinois Procurement of Domestic Products act currently mandates that preference be given to American made products ranging from pharmaceuticals, to corn, to coal. All of these preferences which ensure domestic economic development, could be undermined under the proposed TPP chapter on procurement (Which is still secret, but the rumor is all TPP countries would be treated as though they are American companies when bidding for public contracts.):
Signing onto the letter, which was authored for House Democrats by Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland, were Reps. Rush, Kelly, Lipinski, Gutierrez, Davis, Duckworth, Schakowsky, Foster, Enyart, and Bustos. Conspicuously missing were Reps. Schneider and Quigley, who continue to be extreme outliers within their party on trade, as well as refusing to take a position favored by the majority of their constituents. You can view the whole letter here.These proposed TPP terms could result in large sums of U.S. tax dollars being offshored and invested to strengthen many other countries’ manufacturing sectors, rather than our own. Indeed, among the beneficiaries of the proposed TPP ban on Buy American preferences would be the many Chinese state-owned-enterprises in the one-party state of Vietnam.Moreover, as you know, procurement policy established in trade agreements cannot be later modified without consent of all signatory countries. This would deprive Congress and U.S. state legislatures of their authority to modify procurement policies, even in the context of fundamentally changed national or international circumstances.