Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to implement the purchase of American-made steel and iron products by state entities. Under the "Buy American" legislation, the Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority, Bridge Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Office of General Services, SUNY Construction Fund and Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, will be required to include a contract provision requiring the use American-made structural iron and structural steel for all surface road and bridge projects.
"Buy American will help us invest directly in our greatest asset, our workforce, to support economic development and job growth for generations to come," Governor Cuomo said. "I am proud to sign this legislation to support hardworking men and women, revitalize infrastructure across the state, bolster the strength of our manufacturing industries and cement our status as a global economic leader."
The legislation requires steel or iron be produced or made in whole or substantial part in the United States and that the entire manufacturing process of these items occur in the United States unless it can be demonstrated that the use of such steel or iron in a particular project should be subject to an exemption. The legislation will be implemented on April 1, 2018 and will pertain to contracts that are executed after that date. This will allow for consideration of any potential funding requirements or other considerations that may be needed to implement the provisions of the bill on future state projects.
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, "For far too long imports of cheap steel and iron ore have put American companies and workers at a disadvantage. After today's signing of the New York Buy American Act, I'm proud to say that we are leveling the playing field to ensure that our state's most significant infrastructure projects are built with quality materials that are American made, help vitalize our local and national economies, spur job creation, and protect workers right here in our own backyard."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "By ensuring that New York's infrastructure projects are carried out using American-made structural iron and steel, we are making an investment in the future of our communities by preserving and creating jobs not only in New York, but across the nation. The enactment of this legislation will ensure that state tax payer funded projects contribute to the economic growth and stability of our communities."
Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein said, "Buy American policy keeps our workforce strong and fortifies our economy. I'm proud that when state agencies award contracts we will buy steel, iron and concrete at home, which was part of the Independent Democratic Conference's agenda to support labor. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation into law."
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "Taxpayer money should be used to serve the public and strengthen our economy whenever possible. That is why we were proud to support the New York Buy American Act and I applaud the Governor for signing it into law. Reinvesting in our state's infrastructure and utilizing American-made material for the work is a win-win for New Yorkers."
Senator Joseph Robach said, "As the Senate sponsor of the 'New York Buy American Act,' I am pleased Governor Cuomo has signed this important legislation into law. I was proud to sponsor this legislation, which ensures that New York State road and bridge capital projects will be made with American iron and steel. This legislation makes certain that the materials bought by New York taxpayers will be of the highest quality and are made here at home by American workers."
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, "This legislation will put into place commonsense procurement measures that will protect hardworking taxpayers, American workers and ensure our long-term economic stability. I was proud to sponsor this bill in the Assembly and I am grateful to Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the legislature for recognizing the need to extend preference to American-made goods and for their continued efforts to strengthen our economy."
The measure also establishes a work group that, among its responsibilities, would be to consider the feasibility of expanding the provisions to other products manufactured in the United States such as concrete, cement and aluminum products, explore reciprocal trade access with a foreign state that may be impacted by this provision to the detriment of the state, consider fiscal impacts, and mitigate any issues with the implementation of the legislation. This work group will consist of 14 members, with the Governor appoint seven members as well as the chair. The Temporary President of the Senate and Speaker of the Assembly will each appoint two members and each minority leader will appoint one member. The workgroup will provide an interim report of their findings by January 1, 2019 and a final report on January 1, 2020.