Washington, D.C. – The Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) spearheaded a joint business industry letter to the leadership of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies calling for rejection of a proposal to make “Buy American” a permanent fixture of the $100 billion plus clean water and drinking water state revolving fund (SRF) programs. “While we all support efforts to boost the U.S. economy and support its manufacturing base, proposals to do so by imposing restrictive procurement requirements on the SRF programs and our municipalities will have the opposite effect,” the letter stated.
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) plans to introduce a “Buy American” amendment on Wednesday, June 20 when the subcommittee marks up EPA’s FY 2013 appropriations bill.
Among the concerns expressed by the groups include its impact on halting projects from moving forward; having to redesign projects scheduled to receive assistance; increase costs associated with access to these funds; communities turning away from the SRF program putting its corpus at risk; engineers, contractors and equipment suppliers being hesitant to compete on SRF-funded projects due to increased risk and uncertainty; U.S. manufacturers utilizing global supply chains being restricted from selling domestically; and U.S. manufacturers being locked out of export markets from the likely retaliation of our nation’s trading partners.
Joining WWEMA on the letter were the following organizations: American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association; American Council of Engineering Companies; Associated Equipment Distributors; Associated General Contractors of America; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters; Council of Infrastructure Financing Agencies; Emergency Committee for American Trade; National Association of Water Companies; National Foreign Trade Council; National Utility Contractors Association; Organization for International Investment; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and the United States Council for International Business.