Thursday, January 31, 2013

Loophole lets US military buy non-American

The U.S. military ordered these Toyota trucks for use in the Korean War.
Toyota wouldn't exist if the U.S. military hadn't rescued it from collapse during the Korean War. The company was on the verge of closing, when the U.S. Department of Defense ordered 5,000 vehicles.

The military was exploiting a loophole in procurement that still exists today.  The U.S. government may buy a product that isn't made in America if the product won't be used inside the United States.

Freshman Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) wants to close that loophole.  Long a champion of American manufacturing, Murphy founded the "Buy America" caucus  as a congressman. Yesterday he held a teleconference to talk about bringing jobs back home.

Matt Murray at NH Labor News reported on the conversation:
The United States Government needs to practice what it preaches by buying American made products.   Currently the ‘Buy America’ law states that 50% products bought with taxpayer money be made domestically. Senator Murphy says that number should be at a minimum 60% but would like to see it closer to 75%. 
Senator Murphy also pointed out that the current ‘Buy America’ law has one very large loophole that must be closed.  If the government buys a product, lets say a gun, but that product is not going to be used within the United States, the law says that it does not have to be made in the USA.   This loophole has been exploited by defense contractors and the DOD. Think of how much money the US Government spent over the last decade fighting two wars.  What would that have done for our economy if we made all of those guns and ammunitions right here at home?  If you remember weapons manufacturing during World War II was one of the way we pulled ourselves out of the Great Depression.
Read the whole thing here.