U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Support American Manufacturers and Shipbuilders

“Strong Buy American standards drive local economic growth and create good paying jobs that support Wisconsin families.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin formally introduced legislation that supports Wisconsin’s manufacturing and shipbuilding industries. The Made in America Shipbuilding Act (S. 2731) strengthens Buy American requirements for the federal government’s purchase of ships by expanding current law to cover all federal agencies, all classes of ships and substantially more shipboard components, including items made in Wisconsin.

Senator Baldwin unveiled the Made in America Shipbuilding Act in February at Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy Co. in Superior to highlight her work fighting for strong Buy American standards to help boost Wisconsin’s manufacturing economy.

“For decades in Wisconsin, we’ve worked to make things: paper, engines, tools and ships. These manufacturing jobs have created shared prosperity for generations and strengthened the economic security of hard-working families across our state,” said Senator Baldwin. “Strong Buy American standards drive local economic growth and create good paying jobs that support Wisconsin families. And because American workers are the best in the world, these standards also ensure that the federal government, including our military, purchases the highest quality ships and parts needed to carry out its various missions. The Made in America Shipbuilding Act is about doing right by workers in Wisconsin and across the country, and I am urging my Senate colleagues to support this legislation.”

“A strong domestic Navy supplier base is critical to our country’s Navy shipbuilding infrastructure and to our Nation’s defense. We are appreciative of Tammy Baldwin and her staff’s efforts to maintain the world’s greatest Navy shipbuilding industrial base,” said Rick Giannini, President & CEO, Milwaukee Valve Company.

“Going back to her time in the House of Representatives, Senator Baldwin has long been an incredibly strong advocate for U.S. manufacturing jobs. Her Made in America Shipbuilding Act will give us the confidence to invest capital and to add high paying middle-class jobs. This bill also strengthens the defense industrial base by providing American-made components for U.S. taxpayer-funded ships. At Fairbanks Morse, we greatly appreciate the Senator’s leadership in bringing critical manufacturing jobs back to the United States,” said Marvin Riley, Fairbanks Morse President and COO of EnPro Industries.

“The present government procurement processes allow for an increased dependence on foreign supply which is troubling to us as Americans and as manufacturers. Every government contract that creates a job for a foreign manufacturer and their many contractors takes one away from a potential American supplier – a trend that continues to decimate an already fragile U.S. manufacturing base. Senator Baldwin’s Made in America Shipbuilding Act is a great step in reversing this trend by ensuring that mission critical ship components are procured from domestic suppliers,” said Frank Pierri, President of Appleton Marine, Inc.

If U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to purchase any type of vessel, the Made in America Shipbuilding Act requires that it is made in America by skilled American workers, uses domestically produced materials, like steel, iron and aluminum, and includes critical shipboard components that are manufactured in the United States.

Senator Baldwin has long-championed stronger Buy American standards to ensure that American workers and products are prioritized, especially when U.S. taxpayer dollars are used.

In January, Senator Baldwin led a group of Senators in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to include strong Buy American, Hire American standards in any new infrastructure investment. Following the letter, Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, pressed five members of President Trump’s cabinet on why the administration’s infrastructure plan failed to include a strong commitment to Buy American, Hire American standards.

In the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senator Baldwin secured Buy American requirements in the final legislation. She also ensured the bill supported Made in Wisconsin manufacturing and shipbuilding programs like Oshkosh Defense’s military vehicles and Marinette Marine’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

More information on the Made in America Shipbuilding Act is available here.