February 2, 2009 / 5:26 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-U.S. Senate's "Buy American" provision

 Feb 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate is on Monday set to open
debate on a nearly $900 billion economic stimulus bill
containing "Buy American" language that aims to ensure spending
on projects funded by the bill would create U.S. jobs.
 A bill passed by the House of Representatives last week
contained a similar, but less-sweeping provision.
 The Obama administration has not yet taken a formal
position on the Buy American provisions, viewed by many trading
partners as a move toward increased U.S. trade protectionism.
 The following are key details of the two bills:
 -- The House bill bars the spending of any economic
stimulus funds on projects "for the construction, alteration,
maintenance or repair of a public building or public work
unless all of the iron and steel used in the project is
produced in the United States."
 -- The Senate bill expands the provision to require that
"all of the iron, steel and manufactured goods used in the
project(s) are produced in the United States."
 -- Both bills contain language allowing the Buy American
provision to be waived if the head of a federal department or
agency overseeing a specific project determines that it would
be "inconsistent with the public interest."
 -- Both bills also allow the provision to be waived if
U.S.-made supplies are not available in sufficient quantity or
quality, or if requiring U.S.-made goods would boost the cost
of the project by more than 25 percent.
 -- Projects covered in both bills include airports,
bridges, canals, dams, dikes, pipelines, railroads, multiline
mass transit systems, roads, tunnels, harbors and piers.
 (Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Gary Crosse)

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