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Mass legislators to vote on favoring U.S. or foreign steel products in new construction

New Hampshire just passed Buy American legislation. Will Massachusetts do the same?

Above: Submitted photo, Location: Fabricators Dan and Josh work in tandem on a support column for the The Boeing Company, San Antonio, Texas at the Capone Iron Corporation North Woods facility, Berlin, New Hampshire, photo by Sasha.

Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass  occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would provide little to no additional relevant information.

BOSTON — On Monday, New Hampshire will join more than 25 states and the federal government in enacting legislation to ensure taxpayer money spent on state construction projects is reinvested right back into American workers and manufacturers. Now Massachusetts lawmakers are being urged to pass Buy American legislation.

A redraft of Senate bill 2546, “An Act Promoting American Manufacturing,” mirrors the New Hampshire law by giving a preference to domestic steel fabricators in the procurement of structural steel for public construction projects. Domestic steel fabricators are urging the Massachusetts legislature to act on this policy as the legislative session winds down.

“We are being run out of business using the tax dollars we pay to our government,” said Stephen Capone, President of Capone Iron Corporation and of Steel Fabricators of New England (SFNE). “This bill will help create a level playing field so we can compete again.”  

Capone said that industry insiders estimate that over 90% of the structural steel used on public construction projects in Massachusetts comes from abroad. Further, he explained, foreign countries utilize predatory trade practices like state-owned companies, massive government subsidies, and lax labor and environmental laws to undercut American producers. The result is a significant loss of jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue that jeopardizes the health and safety of the Commonwealth – far outweighing the minimal savings from buying cheap foreign steel.

“Our federal government and dozens of other states already have strong Buy America laws in place, because they know purchasing American-made is a better long-term investment,” Capone said. “There is no legitimate argument against buying Made in America steel, especially since the redrafted bill includes waivers to ensure maximum protection for our state procurement. It’s time to get this done.” 

Twenty-four elected officials from both political parties have signed onto this bill, as cosponsors. It’s time for the Legislature to take action and join the federal government, New Hampshire, and two dozen other states that recognize the importance of buying American. 

About SFNE: The Steel Fabricators of New England (SFNE) is an association of structural steel and miscellaneous metal fabricators and allied companies that serve the building and bridge construction markets in New England. The mission of SFNE is to promote the use of domestically fabricated structural steel and miscellaneous metals in buildings, bridges, and similar structures through education, legislative advocacy, and networking activities.

Jason Velázquez

Jason Velázquez has worked in print and digital journalism and publishing for two decades.
Phone: (413) 776-5125

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