House Dems Want Infrastructure, Transportation Materials Made In US

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduces the Invest in American Jobs Act requiring all taxpayer funded transportation and infrastructure projects to use U.S.-made materials. Dec. 1, 2011.

By Andrea Salazar

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge may be in the United States, but parts of it are stamped Made in China.

To combat the loss of manufacturing jobs to China, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Democrats announced Thursday the introduction of a bill tightening the requirements for investments in infrastructure and transportation.

The Invest in American Jobs Act, sponsored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), would mandate that all materials used in infrastructure and transportation projects funded by U.S. taxpayers be made in the United States.

“Made in China but paid for by American tax payers,” Rahall said referring to the Chinese materials and man-power used in replacing a part of the Bay Bridge. “We are no longer just buying cheap trinkets from China, we are literally buying bridges and major transportation infrastructure, while outsourcing innovation and capabilities that could be fostered and strengthened right here in the U.S. of A.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) echoed those sentiments and challenged Republicans in the House to pass the bill as part of a transportation bill expected in January, warning that otherwise “the jobs that you are going to tout that you’re creating with this bill are going to be created in other countries, not for American workers.”

Representatives from the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers and United Streetcar also joined Rahall and other committee members in support of the Invest in American Jobs Act at a news conference Thursday.

Rahall told reporters that the bill’s reception has been “not negative,” adding that the bill is important because “when we make it in America, more Americans can make it.”

Originally for Talk Radio News Service.

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