Matthiesen also notes the timing of the bill’s introduction coincides with the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, which run from March 4 to March 13 in Singapore. The 11 TPP countries include the U.S. and Canada.
Matthiesen says, ”What CME is hoping for is very strong government procurement language … so that members within the TPP are not [affected] unnecessarily by such blatant protectionist moves by another member.”
She adds, “The Rahall bill not only sends the wrong signal [to businesses] but, at the end of the day, could hurt companies right here in the United States.” Matthiesen says U.S. companies sell parts to Canadian companies, which use the parts to produce machinery. “Those [Canadian] companies will stop buying those parts,” Matthiesen says.
Rahall introduced a Buy America bill in late 2011, and some of its provisions did become part of last year’s highway-transit authorization, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
Rahall said in a statement, “Unfortunately, many provisions we pushed for that would have ensured even stronger Buy America requirements for all surface-transportation infrastructure investments were left on the cutting-room floor during the [MAP-21] conference process.”
He added, “We are here to finish the job and ensure that all taxpayer-funded infrastructure investments support American jobs.”