Biden’s ‘Buy America’ bid runs into manufacturing woes it aims to fix
Infrastructure officials complain they can’t find U.S. suppliers for items they need to buy American by law The Washington Post By David J. Lynch February 18, 2023
The “Buy America” initiative that President Biden says will promote domestic manufacturing and fuel a blue-collar renaissance is running into a problem: The United States no longer produces many of the items needed to modernize roads, bridges and ports. The $1 trillion infrastructure legislation that the president signed in late 2021, however, insists that U.S. materials be used. This awkward dynamic spilled into public view this month, when the U.S. Department of Transportation denied a request by the nation’s ports to use federal infrastructure funds to purchase imported dock cranes, trucks, boat lifts and similar equipment, after industry officials argued that no domestic manufacturers exist for them. In particular, while some smaller cargo-handling units are made in the United States, all of the electric models that support the administration’s climate goals are made overseas, according to the American Association of Port Authorities.
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