PITTSBURGH – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in response to the announcement that President Joe Biden would today sign an executive order tightening domestic content requirements and narrowing exceptions to existing domestic preference rules for federally funded projects:
“Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and remains essential to our national defense.
“When we undertake federally funded projects, we must ensure that our tax dollars support American production and jobs rather than our foreign competitors, who all too often seek to undermine our industries by flooding our markets with unfairly traded products.
“Today’s order strengthening domestic content requirements, closing loopholes in how domestic content is measured and calling for stricter enforcement of existing legislation like the Jones Act is an important step toward revitalizing our manufacturing base, as well as protecting and creating thousands of good, family-sustaining jobs.
“Further, taking concrete steps to make it easier to identify and utilize U.S. suppliers, as outlined in the order, will help ensure we are efficiently meeting our own needs as we look to rebuild our long-neglected domestic supply chains.
“The Covid-19 crisis demonstrated that we are sorely unprepared to meet our own needs, and this remains true of countless products. If we want to heal our nation in the wake of the deadly pandemic, we must take bold action to rebuild our economy, creating good jobs and broadly shared prosperity. President Biden’s executive order is a critical part of that effort.
“Our nation is long overdue for serious, robust investment in our crumbling infrastructure. Today’s action is crucial not only for rebuilding our nation’s broken economy and making our country safer, but for laying a foundation so that all of the work that stems from this investment supports American jobs.
“For too long, we have allowed foreign-made products to dominate our markets. We look forward to working with the Biden administration as together we seek to ensure our federal policies serve our country’s best interests.”
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.