A group of House Republicans is acting out to have “Buy America” requirements upheld in the infrastructure bill.
The GOP members responded to H.R. 3864; a bipartisan bill passed last month that offers heads of federal agencies the chance to let firms circumvent the “Buy America” policies.
“As the bill is written, federal agencies will have complete discretion to ignore American-made products to be used in American infrastructure projects,” the GOP members wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) obtained and first reported by Breitbart.
Following the bill, companies are spared from following the mandate if American resources may increase costs, come with inadequate quality, and is “inconsistent with the public interest.”
Exemptions will only be evaluated every five years and must be justified in the Federal Register with at least a 30-day public comment period.
The Republicans expected, because of the legislation, that specific infrastructure construction would be outsourced and offshored to other countries, including the U.S.’s rival China.
“These ambiguous standards in H.R. 3684 give these agencies a loophole to buy products from China or any other country they wish,” the group wrote, calling for the elimination of the waivers.
The bill includes at least $200 billion to invest in projects involving electronic products, such as broadband, electric vehicle charging stations, and water management systems.
And the GOP said it was no other than China, the biggest producer of electronics, which manufactures 90% of the world’s supply.
“It is inappropriate for hard-working Americans’ tax dollars to be spent on Chinese electronics for American infrastructure,” the Republicans said, underscoring that American electronics must not be offshored to the Asian country.
“The American people want and expect American infrastructure to be made in America with American products,” they stated.
Chairman and CEO of AVG Advanced Technologies Shalabh Kumar, the founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition, was among the first to spot the major flaw in H.R. 3684.
“We’re launching a major campaign in the House to correct this,” Kumar told the news agency in August, referring to the group of GOP members who joined him in drafting an amendment to fix the loophole.
The 2,701-page long measure includes numerous provisions aimed at revitalizing America’s roads, bridges, and highways, as well as climate change exemptions, such as support for “zero-emission vehicles.”
But sources behind the bill’s drafting also told Breitbart that they were afraid it could pave the way for widespread corruption.
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic had been a wake-up call to the U.S. about leaving other countries to take charge of manufacturing products for America.
Antibiotics, sedatives, and other medications were in low supply in American hospitals in April 2020, highlighting how critically the U.S. had allowed itself to become dependent on other countries, Breitbart provided.
According to industry insiders, over 90% of the pharmaceutical ingredients for generic pharmaceuticals imported to the United States come from firms abroad. China and India account for half of these factories.