Legislative Alert

Letter Opposing Legislation That Would Reverse Buy American Provision

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 60 affiliates of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial  Organizations (AFL-CIO), representing 12.5 million working people across our economy, I write to urge  you to oppose Senate Joint Resolution 38 (S.J. Res 38), a Congressional Review Act resolution to reverse  a Buy America waiver for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The AFL-CIO strongly supports Buy America and other domestic preference policies for their  effectiveness in supporting family- and community-sustaining jobs and strengthening our security by  boosting domestic production capacity for critical supply chains. However, S.J. Res 38 would actually  undermine Buy America application and could adversely impact investments in both EV charging  infrastructure and in domestic manufacturing capabilities for the materials and products needed to build  charging stations.

The waiver this resolution is targeting functions as an implementing policy that utilizes a phase-in  approach for Buy America application to EV charging stations installed with the support of federal funds.  This waiver sought to balance the need to build out critical infrastructure in a timely fashion with the need  to maintain the clear market signals necessary to attract domestic investment in key EV charging station supply chains. It does this by ramping up domestic preferences over time, currently requiring final  assembly and predominantly iron and steel housing components, and increasing to 55 percent of  components in mid-2024.

If this resolution were successful, and the waiver for EV charging stations were overturned, Buy  America application would revert back to a Federal Highway Administration Buy America manufactured  products waiver put in place during the Reagan Administration in 1983. The 1983 waiver has effectively  gutted domestic preferences for manufactured products at FHWA for decades. Thus, S.J. Res 38 would  mean less domestic manufacturing, not more. If the goal of this effort is to help domestic manufacturers  compete with China in critical new technologies like EV charging, the resolution would, unfortunately,  have the opposite effect. It would inject unnecessary uncertainty into decisions about projects and  investments for both developers and manufacturers and effectively push American industry to the  sidelines of a race for supply chains essential to our future prosperity.

This resolution needlessly puts our members' jobs at risk and could stunt growth in a key  manufacturing sector. Thus, we urge you to oppose this resolution.  

William Samuel 
Director, Government Affairs