Leaders reach three-way agreement on “Buy American” deal

New State infrastructure will be made exclusively with steel made in the U.S. thanks to the “Buy American” legislation passed this week.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers worked together to pass the legislation that will prohibit the purchase of foreign made steel or iron for New York roads and bridges. The bill requires that all stages of the manufacturing process occur within the U.S. unless a particular project qualifies for exemption.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie worked with the governor to reach a three-way agreement announced Tuesday afternoon.

“Imports of cheap Iron and steel of potentially questionable quality are putting American companies at a competitive disadvantage,” said Flanagan. “Our new “Buy American” law will ensure that New York’s most significant infrastructure projects are built with materials that are safe and high-quality, held to contribute to our local and national economies, create new jobs and protect workers right here in our own backyard.”

The bill will promote American steel and iron distributors. It will be implemented on April 1, 2018 and will pertain to new contracts executed after this date. Governor Cuomo hopes to spread this initiative to other industries. He will appoint a work group to assess the possibility of extending the law to other materials such as concrete, cement, and aluminum products made in the U.S. The work group will consist of 14 members, seven appointed by the governor — including the chair — and the other seven appointed by Flanagan, Klein and Heastie. The group will make their final decisions by 2020.

Governor Cuomo hopes “Buy American” will help to boost the economy and create more jobs by supporting our own companies rather than foreign organizations.

“When we buy American, we support the continued growth of our manufacturing industries here at home, preserve and create jobs and invest in our future,” said Cuomo. “This legislation will reinvest in the talent that made this state and this country what it is today and strengthen our role as a global leader in manufacturing for years to come.”