“Buy America” Legislation in New Jersey

01/16/2015

At the end of December 2014, the New Jersey legislature approved a “Buy America” (A.3059/S.1811) bill, which would require all state government and agency contracts – including state educational facilities – to be fulfilled only with products made in the US. The law authorizes state agencies to buy American made goods at an up to 25% increase in price over foreign made goods. RGIT opposed this bill in a letter sent to the New Jersey legislature and Governor on June 29, 2014. 

Today, RGIT sent a letter to Governor Chris Christie urging him to veto the “Buy America” bill by the veto deadline on February 5, 2015.  RGIT joined the, and several German companies – some of whom are New Jersey’s biggest employers – in opposing a bill that places crippling limitations on all businesses’ ability to compete effectively in the global market. 

Trade with Germany generates $1.3billion in revenue for the Garden State, and 1.1 million New Jersey jobs are linked with international trade. New Jersey companies rely on complex cross-border supply chains to support local manufacturing. If material sourcing and manufacturing efficiency is compromised by onerous legislation, New Jersey companies must ultimately sell less, produce less, and cut jobs. 

 

This legislation has only one merit – a catchy name.  In practice, it will lead to wasteful government spending, and limit job growth in New Jersey.