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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

#TruthInTrade Day 9: Trade Agreements Could Trump Domestic “Buy American” Laws

Mar 27, 2014
Press Release

#TruthInTrade Day 9: Trade Agreements Could Trump Domestic “Buy American” Laws 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today continued his #TruthInTrade campaign to highlight the unintended consequences of free trade agreements.  Last week the campaign focused on concrete examples of how multinational corporations use legal advantages allowed by trade agreements to overturn laws protecting the environment and people.  This week the stories will focus on the potential threats trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), pose to food safety, environmental protection, jobs, and the economy.  More information about #TruthinTrade is available here.

“Buy American laws help grow our local economy,” said Representative Pocan. “Allowing foreign companies the same opportunity as domestic firms to bid on local and state government contracts would be disastrous for small businesses across the country. Foreign companies would not have to comply with U.S. labor, environmental or safety standards and could drive down the cost of goods and services by utilizing unfair labor practices, unsafe working conditions and other inferior goods. We cannot allow badly negotiated trade deals to undermine our local businesses and hurt American workers who work for them.”

Twenty-one states have “Buy American” laws, which require state governments to choose domestically produced products and materials over foreign ones when possible. In Wisconsin, a state “Buy American” law, authored by Rep. Mark Pocan, requires all contractual services paid for with state taxpayer dollars to be performed within the United States. With state and local governments spending close to $2 trillion annually on goods and services, these domestic “Buy American” laws contribute tremendously to local economies across the country.

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