The Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Assn. (WWEMA) is opposed to the latest proposal of the minority leadership in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to instill more stringent "buy American" provision on all infrastructure projects, including those funded by Clean Water State Revolving Funds.
H.R. 3533, the Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011, would require that all steel, iron and manufactured goods for infrastructure projects financed with federal money come from domestic sources, consistent with international trade agreements, and would subject any waiver to a 30-day public review process and employment impact analysis.
WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney released the following statement:
“It is amazing that the sponsors of this bill have ignored the negative consequences that resulted when the same protectionist measures were imposed on municipal water and wastewater projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including project delays, price escalations, administrative burdens, reduced competition even among U.S. companies, and retaliation from trading partners, further hampering the ability of U.S. companies to compete effectively in markets domestic and abroad.
"The belief by some legislators that the international trade agreement provision allows U.S. companies to continue sourcing materials and components from our most favored trading partners, offering the best, most affordable technology to our municipal customers, is a dangerous misconception. There is a major difference between raw materials and complex technologies. This action could dramatically set our industry back if U.S. companies are unable to utilize their international supply chains to provide the most innovative, cost-effective technologies to meet our nation’s enormous infrastructure challenges."
Source: Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Assn. Inc.