Baldwin’s Buy American reform helps ensure drinking water infrastructure is built with American made iron and steel
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced the Made in America Water Infrastructure Act, a “Buy American” reform that would help rebuild America’s crumbling drinking water infrastructure with American made iron and steel.
Senator Baldwin’s Made in America Water Infrastructure Act requires that 100 percent American-made iron and steel is used in water infrastructure projects funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. This will help ensure that the water American families drink is carried through high-quality pipes manufactured right here in the United States, not in a foreign country with lower quality controls.
“We must act quickly and comprehensively to confront water problems throughout the country, and when we do, we must ensure that we’re investing in a Made in America water infrastructure,” said Senator Baldwin. “Communities across the United States are facing serious challenges in protecting their water supplies to keep families and their children safe. We can address this crisis with high-quality American work and materials.”
“As we invest in our nation’s water infrastructure, American taxpayers expect—now more than ever—that the iron and steel products incorporated into these taxpayer-financed projects will be melted, molded, and made in America by American workers and the foundries and mills that employ them,” said Neenah Foundry’s Municipal Products Group Vice President Scott Hoffman. “On behalf of Neenah Enterprises of Neenah, Wisconsin I write to convey our deep appreciation for Senator Baldwin’s leadership in introducing legislation that will make permanent a procurement preference policy for U.S.–produced iron and steel products acquired for infrastructure projects funded and financed by the nation’s largest taxpayer-financed federal-aid program for drinking water infrastructure.”
“It is no secret that American drinking water infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and replacement. Senator Baldwin’s bill will ensure that not only will Americans receive the highest-quality water infrastructure, but that the jobs created by this undertaking will be good, family-supporting American manufacturing jobs,” said United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard. “We have seen the impact that strong Buy America laws like this one have in creating and retaining jobs here at home, and we thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership in ensuring that American taxpayer dollars go to support American workers and industries. That is what the Steelworkers want, what manufacturing workers want, and what an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans want. This is good, commonsense legislation that keeps its focus where it should be: on improving American infrastructure and creating American jobs.”
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) is a federal-state partnership that acts as an infrastructure bank to help ensure safe drinking water all 50 states and territories. Between 1997 and 2015, the DWSRF program provided more than $27.9 billion in low interest loans to more than 12,000 projects. Senator Baldwin’s reform would require all of these projects to use American-made iron and steel. Eligible projects include improving drinking water treatment; fixing or replacing old pipes; improving the source of the water supply; replacing or constructing finished water storage tanks; or any other infrastructure projects needed to protect public health.