Taxpayer Groups Urge No Vote on Baldwin “Buy American” Amendment

Letter to the HillTaxpayer Groups Urge No Vote on Baldwin “Buy American” Amendment

National Security  | Quick Take
Sep 14, 2017  | 2 min read | Print Article

Dear Senator:

As you continue consideration of 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 oppose Senator Baldwin’s (D-WI) amendment to strike a provision in the bill that would allow protectionist provisions of previous National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) to expire.

Supporting the Baldwin amendment 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.

Section 858 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015 was amended to include a so-called “sunset provision” that would terminate these requirements for certain items at the end of Fiscal Year 2018 on September 30, 2018. The Baldwin Amendment would strike that sunset provision, allowing these set-asides to continue indefinitely.

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.

On behalf of our organizations, we ask you to vote against the Baldwin amendment.

Sincerely,

Wendy Jordan

Senior Policy Analyst

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Nan Swift

Federal Affairs Manager

National Taxpayers Union