U.S. Senators Baldwin and Merkley Stand Up for Manufacturers and 'Buy American' Standards in Trade Negotiation

In Letter to Trade Representative Froman, Senators Urge Protection of 'Buy American' Policies in TPP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, urging him to protect American manufacturers and ‘Buy American’ standards for government procurement as he negotiates the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“As you continue to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) we urge you to consider the impact that the agreement will have on ‘Buy American’ restrictions for federal, state, and local government procurement. This agreement would grant foreign companies, who may receive unfair government subsidies, access to our vast government procurement market. The markets that the agreement would open to American firms in return are dramatically smaller. We hope that in negotiating this agreement your office takes into account the net impact it will have on domestic firms that bid on American procurement contracts, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” the Senators wrote.

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the TPP will grant four nations of the agreement full access to the $1.7 trillion U.S. procurement market. The American procurement market is the world’s largest and is funded by taxpayers to rebuild our nation’s roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure. In the TPP, companies from other countries would be treated as domestic bidders when competing for government contracts paid with taxpayer dollars. With foreign firms’ having lower labor and material costs, and less stringent environmental standards in some cases, these companies could undercut American bids to the detriment of American workers and manufacturers.

Read the letter to U.S. Trade Representative Froman here