fresh voices from the front lines of change







“Buy America” policies work, seriously boosting American manufacturers and helping create American jobs.

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff has a guest-post, Making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing, at the DOT’s Fast Lane. He writes that “Buy America” requirements in government infrastructure projects are seriously boosting American manufacturers.

Rogoff used as one example a visit to a South Carolina company, TransTech Power Transfer Systems. Transtech builds train-top power connectors and other components for rail transit systems. The company is successful, employing about 70 workers. Rogoff writes,

… federal infrastructure investments like those that President Obama proposed play a big part in TransTech’s success. The folks working on the TransTech factory floor are busy building components for public transportation systems funded in part by the Federal Transit Administration. We’re not only talking about new rail lines; but the work created through FTA’s State of Good Repair investments also helps Transtech’s bottom line, as they take on transit maintenance and refurbishing contracts.

And thanks to our Buy America requirements—standards that ensure American-made products are used in every transportation project funded in part by the FTA –our investments are helping even more American workers, including the men and women who produce the steel and aluminum TransTech uses in its components. Through Buy America, we’re putting a “Made In America” stamp on as many transit vehicles and components as we can.

Here is the key take-away from Rogoff’s post:

Consider this: the FTA has reduced the number of Buy America waivers from more than forty in 2009 to just three in 2012. The Obama Administration is serious about building a stronger middle-class, and to do that we need to create and protect American manufacturing jobs.

Rogoff concludes,

… at the Department of Transportation and FTA, we know that when we invest our tax dollars in transportation infrastructure, we’re investing in both riders and in workers. We’re investing in America.

This is some of what government does, and shows how it can help American companies and workers succeed.

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