New Jersey Bill Mandates US Domestic Steel for State Projects
New Jersy Globe reported that New Jersey Governor Mr Phil Murphy signed into law a bill requiring the state government to procure steel and iron products used for permanent constructions from firms in America or its territories. Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said “Requiring the purchase of American-made goods for public contracts is good economic sense. We have an obligation to use public funds in ways that help both our workers and our businesses. This is part of a national movement in support of American jobs that will help revitalize infrastructure across the state and bolster the strength of our manufacturing industries.”
This bill, designated as the “New Jersey Buy American Act,” requires all contracts over usd 1 million in value and made and awarded by a “State contracting agency,” as that term is defined in the bill, for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or improvement of any surface highway or bridge, to contain a provision that any iron or steel product used or supplied in the performance of the contract, or any subcontract thereto, and permanently incorporated into a surface highway or bridge, is to be produced or made in whole or substantial part in the United States, its territories, or possessions.
The bill contains exceptions that allow non-American steel to be used if using domestic products would not serve the public interest, result in a loss of federal funds or in cases of emergent need. There are also exceptions for supply shortages, lengthy delays, certain trade treaties, projects that began before the bill’s June 24 enactment and where using domestic products would bump overall costs by more than 25%.
The legislation comes after President Joe Biden issued a January executive order that increased the prices at which federal agencies could purchase goods from US suppliers and strengthened other domestic preferences.