Brown Continues Fight to Restore Buy America to Water Infrastructure Bill

Buy America Requires American Steel, Iron to be Used in Construction Projects; Last Week in Cincinnati, President-elect Trump Committed to Using American Products, Workers to Carry out Infrastructure Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is fighting to restore a ‘Buy America’ provision in the Water Resources Development (WRDA) Act that would require the use of American-made iron and steel products in infrastructure projects.  

“We cannot allow foreign companies to continue to undercut our steel industry and without Buy America, we are allowing this business to go elsewhere at the expense of tax payers,” said Brown. “It’s simple: American tax dollars should go toward American-made steel that supports American jobs. Period.”

Following reports that the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) had been stripped of its Buy America provision, Brown wrote to Senate and House leadership to demand that the provision be restored to support American jobs. The original Buy America rule in the Senate bill, which Brown supported, would have permanently amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require American-made steel and iron be used in infrastructure projects funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The Buy America provision in WRDA had already passed the Senate in September with broad bipartisan support.

Earlier this week, Republican leaders stripped that language and replaced it with a one-year provision that is already in effect and would not permanently ensure American steel and iron will be used in water infrastructure projects moving forward. Brown and his colleagues plan to introduce an amendment that would restore the provision to the bill when it comes before the Senate.

Last week in Cincinnati, Trump said his infrastructure plan would use American products and workers: “Buy American and hire American. We're going to do it ourselves.” Yet President-elect Trump has remained silent about the Republican House leadership stripping the Buy America reform from the water infrastructure legislation.

Brown was joined on today’s call by Jeff Otterstedt, the Senior Vice President of McWane Ductile in Coshocton, which employs workers in Ohio to manufacture pipe and fitting for water systems, and could benefit from Buy America.

###