06.25.21

Baldwin Secures Major Buy America Wins in U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that includes several Buy America provisions authored and supported by Senator Baldwin to do right by U.S. workers and manufacturers.

“I strongly believe that when taxpayer dollars are spent by our government, we should be investing in American workers and American-made products,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud many of my Buy America reforms have earned bipartisan support in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act because they will support our manufacturers and workers by helping to make sure we buy what America makes. This legislation will support our Made in Wisconsin manufacturing economy as we put people to work and move our economy forward, and I’m looking forward to the House of Representatives sending this bill to President Biden to be signed into law.” 

A breakdown of the Buy America reforms included in this bipartisan legislation is below.

Made in America Act

The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act includes key pieces of Senator Baldwin’s Made in America Act to strengthen Buy America requirements for the federal government. These provisions will:

  • Ensure all construction materials beyond iron and steel, including manufactured products, non-ferrous metals, plastic, concrete and aggregates, glass (including optical glass in broadband), lumber, and drywall, are Made in America;
  • Require that all of the manufacturing processes used in making the material be completed in the United States to qualify as ‘American made’; and
  • Require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to consider how many American jobs are created when setting ‘American made’ standards. 

In addition, the bill includes a reform very similar to a provision in Senator Baldwin’s Made in America Act that would extend Buy America requirements to infrastructure programs that don’t currently have them. As a result of this reform, all federal infrastructure programs would be subject to Buy America requirements. 

Make it in America Act 

In addition, the bill will extend Buy America requirements to infrastructure programs that don’t currently have them to ensure all future federal infrastructure funding is subject to Buy America requirements. It also includes language from the Make it in America Act that Senator Baldwin has cosponsored to:

  • Stop the use of the “public interest” waiver if a foreign contract would decrease American employment;
  • Require that each waiver to the Buy American Act be publicly posted online with detailed justifications;
  • Create a new “Made in America Office” within the Office of Management and Budget, charged with reviewing waivers to the Buy American Act and ensuring compliance with other Buy American laws; and
  • Provide small- and medium-sized American manufacturers the first opportunity to provide products for federally-funded transportation projects. 

BuyAmerican.gov

Finally, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act directs the General Services Administration (GSA) to establish a website with the address BuyAmerican.gov that will include information on all waivers of Buy American laws that have been requested, are under consideration, or have been granted by executive agencies, and be designed to enable manufacturers and other interested parties to easily identify waivers. 

Senator Baldwin’s Buy America efforts are supported by Wisconsin manufacturers:

“At Green Bay Drop Forge, we have manufactured world-class American-made products for more than a century. We strongly support efforts to ensure taxpayer dollars support American workers and businesses. That is why we are glad to see Senate passage of the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. We congratulate Senator Baldwin on the inclusion of her Buy America reforms in the bill and look forward to House passage of this important legislation.,” said Bill Hoban, President at Green Bay Drop Forge in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Senator Baldwin recently visited to highlight her Buy America reforms in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

“Wisconsin’s workers and manufacturers are some of the best in the world and can compete with anyone. Extending Buy America requirements ensures taxpayer dollars are being used to buy domestic steel, aluminum and manufactured products. Bipartisan legislation has passed the U.S. Senate and importantly, it includes Buy America reforms written by Senator Baldwin. At Scot Forge, we appreciate Tammy Baldwin putting our employee owners first and allowing us to compete with foreign competitors on a level playing field,” said John Cain, CEO and Board Chairman at Scot Forge in Clinton, Wisconsin.

“Buy America should not be a partisan idea, but one that elicits support from folks on both sides of the aisle. Simply put, using American-made products for federal infrastructure projects makes sense. We are thrilled that several Buy America reforms championed by Senator Baldwin were included in the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that recently passed the U.S. Senate. We thank Senator Baldwin and her staff for listening to the input of Wisconsin businesses and workers and for being a champion of our Made in Wisconsin economy,” said Alex Lawton, CEO of The C.A. Lawton Company in De Pere, Wisconsin.