As you meet in conference committee on the National Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2018, H.R. 2810, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) strongly urge you to maintain a provision in the Senate version of the bill that would allow protectionist provisions of previous National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) to expire.
Supporting any attempts to remove Section 863 of the Senate version of the NDAA is a vote to maintain protectionist provisions requiring the Department of Defense to purchase certain items such as photovoltaic devices, valves, machine tools, anchor and mooring chain, and propellers from U.S. sources.
The Fiscal Year 2015 NDAA included a so-called “sunset provision” that would terminate these requirements for certain items at the end of Fiscal Year 2018 on September 30, 2018.
Our organizations have long been on record opposing provisions that require the Pentagon to purchase certain goods or components only from American sources.
While “Buy American” may be good sloganeering, in fact it has led to such abuses as a more than 50 year-long requirement to ship coal from Pennsylvania to heat U.S. military facilities in Germany that has only recently been overturned.
These so called “Buy American” provisions are actually a form of back-door earmarking that cannot be allowed to become the norm.
The Pentagon should be allowed to set a fair standard for the goods and services it needs and select the best valued product from the bids received. Anything less than the best product at the best price is a disservice to our men and women in uniform. This point was made in an article in today’s Washington Post.
On behalf of our organizations, we ask you to maintain the Senate language to allow these anti-competitive provisions to expire.
Senior Policy Analyst
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Federal Affairs Manager
National Taxpayers Union