New York Announces ‘Buy American’ Act

grinder-2175150_960_720111The New York Assembly is taking steps to strengthen the Empire State’s manufacturing industry, particularly its iron and steel sectors.

Senate Bill S4073, also known as the “Buy American” policy, will require the NY government to buy products made in America for goods and services totaling over $1 million, when possible. Under this newly proposed policy, state institutions will give preference to products made in the United States instead of those made overseas.

When you think of successful industries in New York, manufacturing probably doesn’t come to mind. Nonetheless, manufacturing accounts for a substantial number of jobs in the Empire State. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than a quarter-million manufacturing jobs in New York, with some 10,000 different companies operating them. The highest number of manufacturing jobs is found in Manhattan.

While New York’s manufacturing industry isn’t necessarily hurting, Governor Cumo is taking steps to strengthen it — this includes passing the Buy American Act.

Under the Buy American act,  contracts over $1 million awarded by New York’s government institutions such as the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Office of General Services (OGS), the Dormitory Authority (DASNY), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Bridge Authority, the Thruway Authority and the State University of New York (SUNY) will be required to use American products and services.

The general idea behind New York’s Buy American Act is to promote American products and services. While it’s often cheaper to buy goods from overseas, this hurts the American economy — and American workers — in several ways.

Originally, the proposed act would have required projects of just $100,000 to involve American-made products and services. This was later changed, however, with lawmakers raising the minimum dollar amount to $1 million.

This initiative will reinvest in the talent that made this state and this country what it is today and strengthen our role as a global leader in manufacturing for years to come,” said NY Governor Cumo in a speech earlier this month. Cumo added that, in order for a product to be considered made in America, at least 60% of its components must be produced in the United States. In the past, many companies have labeled their products as made in America when they were largely produced overseas. New York’s Buy American policy seeks to clarify the definition of made in America to prevent this type of deceitful marketing.

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