As State Senator, one of my top priorities is supporting job creation and economic development in our region. Our children should have the opportunity to pursue a good job and rewarding career right here in the Wayne-Finger Lakes region! As the daughter of a former steelworker, I understand that growing manufacturing jobs is important to the future of our communities and the success of local families.
For far too long, our state infrastructure: airports, bridges, roads, and tunnels has been paid for by our hard earned tax dollars but built with materials and products imported from overseas. Imports of cheap iron ore and steel of potentially questionable quality are putting American companies at a competitive disadvantage. On major infrastructure projects across the state poor quality, imported steel was used, often having to be replaced soon after.
American companies and workers have continued to lose out on contracts and jobs to foreign companies. American workers have been devastated by the growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China. Between 2001 and 2011, New York alone lost 158,000 jobs to China.
Addressing this issue and bringing our jobs home is a top priority of mine, and I know it is for many of you as well. That is why I have been working on several pieces of legislation to require items purchased with taxpayer dollars to be made right here in America. There is no good reason for spending your tax dollars on any item that does not directly support American workers and American jobs!
Earlier this year with my Senate colleagues, I fought to enact the New York Buy American Act. The act requires state contracts of $1 million or more to use American-made iron and steel. It also includes the creation of a workgroup to study the expansion of mandatory purchasing of American-made concrete, cement, and aluminum.
My “Made in America” Plan requires a Made in America preference for all iron and steel purchased for state projects, requires state parks to source most products from American companies, and requires that any American flag purchased by the state government must be made in the United States of America.
It is about supporting American products, made by American workers and companies and promoting the production and use of American-made iron and steel. This ensures that New York’s infrastructure projects will be built with materials that are safe and will stand the test of time. This important change will help drive job creation and economic development in upstate New York and not overseas.
We need a level playing field for American companies. Our tradespeople should know that when they are rebuilding our state’s infrastructure they can do it proudly with products stamped Made in America.
I need your help to make my Made in America Plan a reality. Please visit helming.nysenate.gov, sign my petition, and join the fight!
As always, if I may be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, for more information about our 54th Senate District, please visit my website, firstname.lastname@example.org, or my Facebook page.
Senator Pam Helming