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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) and Congressman Conor Lamb (PA-17) introduced the Building Back American Manufacturing Act on Thursday to expand Buy America policies to improve America’s ability to manufacture critical supplies during times of emergency and reduce reliance on foreign countries in critical supply chains.

“The best way to power our economic recovery is to support hardworking Americans and build back American manufacturing and our workforce,” Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer said. “This legislation is about ensuring our policies match the potential of our manufacturing sector — and making sure middle-class families benefit the most from a new wave of economic growth and opportunity.”

“We need to put our manufacturing industry in the best position possible to supply our country with everyday items, critical infrastructure materials and essential supplies like ventilators and personal protective equipment while also creating jobs as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Finkenauer said. “That’s exactly what this bill aims to do.”

“COVID-19 has showed us how important it is to secure domestic supply chains, so that Americans can get critical goods and supplies here at home during emergencies,” said Congressman Conor Lamb.  “In addition to ensuring we have domestic supplies, this bill will also ensure we have domestic jobs.  I will continue to fight for strong Buy America provisions, because I know when the federal government spends money we can and should be investing not just in supplies and projects but in our workers and our communities.” 

Lamb also committed to reintroduce the legislation in 117th Congress, ensuring these critical measures get full consideration and an opportunity at passage in the months ahead.

The Building Back American Manufacturing Act would create a council of heads of key government departments and representatives from industry, labor, research institutions, and state and local government. The committee would be tasked with:

  • Developing policies to reduce dependency on foreign manufacturers and supply chains;
  • Assessing the production of critical supplies and the sourcing of their materials;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of current federal policies which support and incentivize domestic manufacturing;
  • Developing plans on how to ensure readiness in the event of future global supply chain disruptions;
  • Strengthening existing policies like Buy America laws;
  • Studying ways to increase demand for American made products; and
  • Determining future workforce needs and new investments in high skilled American workers in order to support increased domestic production.

The Building Back American Manufacturing Act is supported by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).

“The Building Back American Manufacturing Act will help to address issues in federal procurement policies and increase the power of infrastructure investment to spark the domestic supply chain and spur job creation,” IUOE General President James Callahan said. “The pandemic has demonstrated the need to strengthen labor standards and domestic content requirements to protect vulnerable supply chains and blue-collar jobs. Strengthening federal procurement policy and Buy American requirements will ensure that public infrastructure investments benefit U.S. workers and the domestic economy.”

Finkenauer is a strong advocate of Buy America policy. In July, the House passed H.R. 2 the Moving Forward Act, which includes her Stop Swaps, Protect Local Jobs Act to prevent states from dodging Buy America provisions on federal infrastructure projects.