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Buy American Would Be Gutted under the TPP: Unraveling the Spin from USTR

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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In a bipartisan letter sent to President Obama on July 30, 2014, 121 members of Congress warned that popular, job-creating Buy American policies would be undermined by proposed terms for the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), the sweeping “trade” deal that President Obama says he wants to sign this year with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Buy American is supported by four out of five U.S. voters – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. From the workers who manufacture the materials to upgrade America’s bridges and highways to those who build the cars driven by our government officials, Buy American creates U.S. jobs by recycling U.S. tax dollars back into our economy.

But Buy American would be gutted, and American jobs lost, under proposed TPP rules requiring “national treatment” in government procurement. The 121 members of Congress carefully spotlighted this problem in their letter: “We have seen that Buy American requirements have had a strong impact in creating good middle class jobs here in the United States…Any prospective TPP agreement must not provide firms operating in the other TPP nations “national treatment” access to U.S. government procurement, since doing so would undermine the standards that Congress has set to support a strong domestic manufacturing sector.”