Buy American Should Be U.S. Business Motto
By Des Plaines Valley News
One would think that the U.S. government would be the first consumer to sign off on Buy American legislation. It shouldn't take a genius or University of Chicago economist to figure out that tax money spent on American goods and services would benefit, well, about everybody.
So, we were a bit concerned when U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) said last week that he was going to introduce a new bill to close loopholes in the original Buy American Act, which was passed 75 years ago. Lipinski said his new law, called the Buy American Improvement Act, would raise the amount of American-made materials to 75 percent for a product to qualify for Buy American status. He said the new bill would also ban the practice of splitting contracts to get them below the Buy American threshold.
“Buying American is one of the fastest and most effect ways to create jobs and get the economy back on track,” Lipinski said during a visit to the Desplaines Valley last week.
We couldn't agree more. There's no better proof of that than the company Lipinski used to announce his new legislation.
Bedford Park-based Hoist Liftruck recently won a Defense Department contract worth $950 million to build high-capacity forklifts and container handlers for the Pentagon. The company said it would be hiring at least 250 new workers to handle the contract. These are not minimum wage fast-food jobs, either. These are well-paid manufacturing jobs that used to be commonplace in this area.
There's also the spillover effect as Hoist will be buying much of its materials from local suppliers.
“Whenever possible, taxpayer money should be invested in the United States. That is one way we’re going to grow the economy,”?Lipinski said during the visit. “This contract will show that Americans can do the work, and will do it. Every dollar that is spent here will benefit the whole community.”
Those dollars will go into local pockets where they will be spent at local businesses, and some of that money will even wind up back in government coffers as income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes.
Detractors say that in a global economy, the U.S. government has a duty to invite lower-cost foreign manufacturers to bid on American contracts. We disagree because such views do not appropriately calculate the benefit, economically and socially, of contracting with domestic manufacturers.
Buy American is something we can all get behind. Lipinski is showing the way. He is to be commended.