Contractors, IT groups lobby against Buy American provisions
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Feb 04, 2009
Federal contractors, global corporations and technology industry groups are joining in a lobbying effort to quash the “Buy American” provisions in nearly $900 billion economic stimulus package being debated in the Senate.
“The new Buy American provisions of S. 336 are as unnecessary as they are harmful,” several dozen companies and groups stated in a letter dated Feb. 3 and addressed to Senate leaders.
The letter is signed by AT&T, Cisco Systems, IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and groups including the Aerospace Industries Association, Coalition for Government Procurement, and Technology Association of America.
The industry groups believe that Buy American provisions will induce anti-American countermeasures from European and Asian purchasers and hurt the global economy.
“Enacting expansive new Buy American restrictions would invite our international partners to exclude American goods and services from hundreds of billions of dollars of opportunities in their stimulus packages and perhaps to adopt Buy-Local rules or raise other barriers to American goods more broadly across their economies,” the letter states.
“The resulting damage to our export markets and the millions of high-paying American jobs they support would be enormous. Given that millions of American workers directly rely upon U.S. global engagement for their jobs, it is vital for the United States to promote, rather than undermine, global commerce,” the companies wrote.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.