A bill package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph A. Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera and Tim Eustace that would prohibit agencies from using imported materials to complete a job was introduced Thursday.
Among the bills is a measure that would require all Port Authority of New York and New Jersey contracts to include a provision stating that only American iron, steel and manufactured products may be used in the construction, reconstruction, alteration or improvement of a project or facility.
“At this crucial moment of economic recovery, it’s time for us to stop looking beyond our borders and recognize the value of tried and true products made in America,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “When we buy American, we invest in our workers and their families.”
“Keeping American money in the United States means we’re doing our part to strengthen our communities and move our nation forward,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester).
“A part of patriotism is taking pride in quality American resources,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This bill is about declaring our undying confidence in this great nation.”
The provisions of he bill (A-3221) permit waiving the requirement after public notice and comment if: the quantity and quality of the material or product needed is unavailable in the U.S., using domestic materials or manufactured products increases the project’s cost by more than 25 percent or the requirement in any way forces deviation from the public interest.
The State of New York must also enact identical legislation in order for the provisions of the bill to take effect in New Jersey. The bill was referred to the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee for review.
Mosquera on Thursday introduced three additional bills (A-3279/A-3280/A-3281), also sponsored by Lagana, that would require the Delaware River Port Authority, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and the Delaware River and Bay Authority to use materials made in America as well.
“Just as the northern region of the state seeks to strengthen its commitment to our country, it’s critical that the same rules apply in South Jersey,” said Mosquera. “This interstate effort will only succeed if we act in unity.”
Similar to the aforementioned legislation, the bills permit a waiver of the requirement if a necessary product is unavailable or comes at an excessive cost.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must also enact identical legislation in order for the provisions of the three bills to take effect in New Jersey.