Exclusive: House GOP to Demand ‘Buy American’ Rules in Infrastructure Bill

MACUNGIE, PENNSYLVANIA - JULY 28: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations on July 28, 2021 in Macungie, Pennsylvania. President Biden spoke to a crowd of supporters at Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations about the importance of manufacturing in America and buying products made in America …
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A group of House Republicans will be demanding Democrats and President Joe Biden add “Buy American” rules to the so-called infrastructure bill, Breitbart News has exclusively learned.

The infrastructure bill, proposed and passed last month with the help of 19 Senate Republicans and all Senate Democrats, allows the heads of federal agencies to issue waivers to corporations to work around Buy American requirements if they consider the requirement “inconsistent with the public interest,” to not meet “satisfactory quality,” or if they believe buying American will increase costs for the projects.

The waivers will only be reviewed every five years, according to the bill, and will have to be justified in the Federal Register with a public comment period of no fewer than 30 days.

Now, as the bill sits in the House, a group of House Republicans is readying a campaign to include Buy American requirements to make certain infrastructure projects are not outsourced and offshored to countries like China, India, and others.

The Republicans are working with Chairman and CEO of AVG Advanced Technologies Shalabh Kumar, also the founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition, who is a longtime Buy American advocate.

“As the bill is written, federal agencies will have complete discretion to ignore American-made products to be used in American infrastructure projects,” the Republicans write to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a letter exclusively reviewed by Breitbart News:

This is unacceptable.

H.R. 3684 allows federal agencies to bypass the requirement that “greater than 55% of the total costs of all components of the manufactured product” be manufactured in the United States. If federal agencies determine the buy-American requirement is “inconsistent with the public interest,” does not meet “satisfactory quality,” or that buying American will increase costs for the projects. These ambiguous standards in H.R. 3684 give these agencies a loophole to buy products from China or any other country they wish.

Eliminate this exception within The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and make this bill truly one that is Buy American.

Additionally, the Republicans note that the bill “includes at least $200 Billion to be used on projects that will require electronic products,” including broadband, electric vehicle charging stations, and water management systems.

Being that China dominates electronic manufacturing, producing 90 percent of the world’s products in this market, the Republicans write that “it is inappropriate for hard-working Americans’ tax dollars to be spent on Chinese electronics for American infrastructure.”

A provision, the Republicans propose, must be included in the bill to ensure electronic manufacturing cannot be offshored to China from the United States.

“The American people want and expect American infrastructure to be made in America with American products,” they write.

After Senate Republicans worked with Democrats to pass the bill out of the Senate, Breitbart News exclusively reported how such Buy American requirements were kept out of the legislation. Mainly, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) had sought GOP and Democrat support for an amendment that would require “materials used in infrastructure projects are made in the United States.”

The amendment failed as Senate Republicans largely vowed to oppose the bill altogether and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Democrats and Republicans quickly shut down debate over amendments.

In April, 51 percent of Republican voters told Gallup pollsters they held a negative view of foreign trade, specifically foreign imports, seeing it as a threat to the U.S. economy. By comparison, in the year 2000, 59 percent of Republican voters had a positive view of foreign trade.

Meanwhile, the latest Pew Research Center survey finds that Republicans who now say that limiting China’s influence and power is a top priority has increased from 39 percent in 2018 to 63 percent in 2021. The loss of American jobs to China remains one of Americans’ biggest concerns with the communist county, the survey reveals.

From 2001 to 2018, U.S. free trade with China has eliminated at least 3.7 million American jobs. In 1985, before China entered the WTO, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled more than $345 billion.

American manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy, as every one manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.