Taxpayer Dollars Should Support American Jobs

When the federal government spends the taxpayers’ money, these projects should support American jobs.

Buy American: That’s why Congress includes “Buy America” provisions in transportation and other infrastructure programs. Supporting the American steel industry is especially important since steel is used for everything from cars to construction, but the sector’s high-wage, union-represented jobs are threatened by imports.

American Workers Keep Watch and Blow the Whistle:  Working Americans and their allies need to keep careful watch on public projects to make sure they use American steel. Railroad workers tipped off Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) that Amtrak is illegally using steel from Vietnam to upgrade its Mount Joy station in Lancaster County. In a letter to Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson, Casey reminded the federally-funded railroad corporation that it must make maximum use of American steel. Kudos to members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, a division of the Teamsters union, for blowing the whistle on the illegal use of imported steel.

“No Action” from Trump: American steelworkers are besieged by imports, which were 19.4 percent higher during the first 10 months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Despite Donald Trump’s tough talk, his administration hasn’t taken action against unfair trade practices by China and other competitors. The United Steelworkers union says it’s “terribly disappointed and hugely frustrated … There’s been no action that has done anything to protect and defend American jobs.”

Related story: Facing layoffs, Pennsylvania steelworkers feel abandoned by Trump.