Burns proposes ‘American Made’ legislation to create thousands of jobs, reduce reliance on foreign supply chains

Lawmaker crafting bills to bring manufacturing back to U.S.A.

EBENSBURG, March 31 – As the coronavirus pandemic has exposed longstanding vulnerabilities in the global supply chain, state Rep. Frank Burns is moving swiftly to strengthen national security and boost employment by expanding U.S. manufacturing.

Burns, D-Cambria, is putting the finishing touches on his “American Made” legislation to bring vital industries back to our country, creating thousands of jobs and using the steel industry as a template for a rebirth of domestic production capacity.

“When we finally see the U.S Congress, Democrats and Republicans, coming together to approve an emergency coronavirus package in the nation’s overall best interest, the time is ripe for Pennsylvania to do the same,” Burns said. “We need to end our economy’s heavy reliance on China and other countries – a reliance that in times of crisis shows a glaring inability to produce critical items for our own needs.”

Using the definition of “American made” spelled out in the state’s Steel Products Procurement Act, Burns’ legislation, which he plans to introduce in coming months, would:

  • Require American-made steel in all construction and repair of underground pipelines. 
  • Require any construction/repair projects done by a private entity that receives any kind of taxpayer funding (grant, tax credit, etc.) to use American-made steel.
  • Provide a 1% bid discount on bids for public projects (such as those carried out by school districts, municipalities and state agencies) when American-made products are used in the price quote. As an example, if Company No. 1’s bid is $1,000 but it uses a certain percentage of American-made building materials, and Company No. 2 bids $995 but uses foreign-made materials, Company No. 1 would get a $10 bid discount and thus be awarded the contract as the low bidder at $990.

Burns, a longtime champion of creating and sustaining American jobs for American workers, believes other eyes have been opened as the U.S. faces critical shortages of hospital ventilators, protective gear such as masks and gloves for medical professionals and at-risk people, and even prescription medicines – much of which is disproportionately manufactured overseas.

“We’re relying on old ladies stitching together face masks at home, and it’s all because we let our manufacturing base go,” Burns said. “We let the corporations ship jobs overseas in the name of greater profit, putting us at the mercy of China and other countries. I want to lead the way to reverse that trend, starting with steel.”