States Developing Own Buy American Policies

By Dustin Ensinger, Economy in Crisis. If the federal government won’t do it, the states will. Many state and local governments are developing their own domestic procurement policies since the federal government has failed to implement a true nationwide buy American policy, according to an ABC News report. In many cases, it has provided a significant boost to their economies. The report found that, through 2009, 21 states have developed domestic procurement policies. Those policies have forced state and local governments to buy such things as American flags, police uniforms and other goods and services locally. "A pretty large share of dollars the state spends with local businesses go into local wages. The business is also sourcing some of the stuff it needs to operate from other local businesses. And so there's just more economic activity, more income, and that means more tax revenue," Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, told ABC News. According to the report, state and local governments spend $2 trillion annually on the procurement of goods and services. But not all domestic procurement laws are made equal. Much like the federal government’s most recent buy American law, those on the state level are rife with loopholes and a lack of enforcement. And there are those that are fighting against even a weakened form of domestic procurement policies. Critics of those policies claim that not only are they illegal by international trading standards, but also detrimental to the economy. They say states should be focusing on exports. '"Buy in America' is frequently trapped by its focus on consumption, and in the long greater scheme of things, seeing America as a nation of consumers is not as healthy a place to be as seeing America as a nation of people thinking about production, innovation and exports," Mark Muro, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, told ABC News. "To the extent a state engages in bolstering the export standing of its firms, that might be a better, more powerful response.” Those passing the laws, however, feel like they are extremely useful. "The laws make all the different units of government think about buying local, and they should," Minnesota State Rep. Tom Rukavina told ABC News. "It's taxpayers' money and a lot of these taxpayers depend on manufacturing jobs that are here in the U.S. and we're losing more and more of them." Read the original post here