As President Trump Backtracks on Promise to Require American Steel and Equipment, Bustos Urges Trump to Keep Promises to American Workers

WASHINGTON – This week, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, led her colleagues in expressing concern that President Donald Trump was backtracking on another promise to American workers.

In his Inaugural Address, President Trump said his Administration would “follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.” During his Joint Address to Congress last month, President Trump continued to pledge that investments in American infrastructure should “buy American” and “hire American.”

In his first week in office, President Trump invited TransCanada to resubmit its application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada into the United States. On the same day, he issued a directive that new, repaired or expanded pipelines within the United States be constructed using American-made materials and equipment. In his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump said that the steel for the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines would come “from the United States or we’re not building one.”

However, one week later, after repeatedly making the same promise, a White House spokeswoman quietly confirmed they were pulling a full 180 by exempting the Keystone XL Pipeline from any requirements to use American steel and equipment.

“President Trump’s words and actions are often two very different things, but after running a campaign based on bringing manufacturing jobs back, even I was shocked when he flip-flopped and broke his promise by ignoring his own ‘Buy American’ requirements for such a major project,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “If the Trump Administration is serious about creating American jobs as we invest in our infrastructure, the President can’t keep breaking his word to hardworking men and women across our nation. I strongly urge President Trump to put hardworking men and women in our steel and equipment manufacturing industries first.”

 Joining Congresswoman Bustos in the letter to President Trump are Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-13), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Bill Foster (IL-11), Betty McCollum (MN-04), John Garamendi (CA-03), Pete Visclosky (IN-01), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), David Scott (GA-13), Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Mike Doyle (PA-14).

Text of the letter can be found here and pasted below:

 

20 March 2017

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you to express our concern that this administration is not living up to its promises to American workers.

On the same day you invited TransCanada to resubmit its application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, you issued a memorandum requiring that “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired or expanded pipelines… use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.”

Now, your administration states that Keystone XL will not be subject to any such requirement because it is “currently in the process of being constructed.”

While the Keystone Pipeline System is already up and running, Keystone XL is not currently under construction. In fact, your administration still holds the power to approve or reject the new application TransCanada has submitted to construct the pipeline over the border from Canada.

Time and time again, we’ve heard that the American people would be better served if the federal government had better negotiators. Now, as our country’s chief executive and lead negotiator, it appears you are allowing a deal to go forward while reversing on what you’ve called the “core principles” for American infrastructure investment.

We agree that this country should “buy American and hire American” whenever possible. You are in a position to make a difference in the lives of millions of people across the country, and we hope you will not walk back your commitment to American workers and American companies.

Sincerely,

 
CHERI BUSTOS

Member of Congress

 

TIM RYAN                                                                            MARCY KAPTUR

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress
PETER DEFAZIO                                                                 BILL FOSTER

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress
BETTY MCCOLLUM                                                           JOHN GARAMENDI

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress
PETER J. VISCLOSKY                                                        MATT CARTWRIGHT

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress
MARK POCAN                                                                     BRENDAN F. BOYLE

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress
CAROL SHEA-PORTER                                                      STEPHEN F. LYNCH

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

DAVID SCOTT                                                                     TERRI SEWELL

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

MIKE DOYLE

Member of Congress