Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tell Congress: Oppose trade agreements that undo 'Buy American'

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Your tax dollars are spent by the federal government to buy goods and services. Don't you want those goods and services to be produced in America?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership currently being negotiated would forbid the U.S. government from preferring U.S. companies over foreign competitors.

Seventy House members and many senators said they oppose TPP measures that could weaken Buy American policies. They said in a statement the TPP’s rules “could result in large sums of U.S. tax dollars being invested to strengthen other countries’ manufacturing sectors, rather than our own.”

In May, The U.S. House of Representatives voted to block talks for trade agreements that void Buy American rules. The Senate has yet to pass a similar bill, but you can write your senators here to tell them to support initiatives that cut off funding for trade talks that undo 'Buy American.'

The TPP 'could result in the offshoring hundreds of millions in tax dollars now recycled into the U.S. economy under the Buy American procurement program, which started in 1933,' according to a new study by Public Citizen.

The amount of money at stake is enormous. For example,
Each Texas taxpayer provides an estimated $2,645 annually in support of federal procurement, resulting in a statewide total of approximately $48.7 billion.
Each year, taxpayers in California finance approximately $65.2 billion in federal procurement, or an estimated $2,280 per California taxpayer.
Annual U.S. government procurement is funded with approximately $11.7 billion contributed by Washington state, which translates to $2,132 per taxpayer on average.
Public Citizen also points out the TPP would let companies owned by China in Vietnam undercut U.S. businesses to get contracts with the U.S. government. How can U.S. businesses compete with companies that pay an average minimum wage of 52 cents an hour?