President Trump announced support on Tuesday, for a bill brought forth by Democrats, which would increase federal requirements to use American products in construction and development projects.
While visiting Wisconsin on Tuesday to sign the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, President Trump told TMJ4 in Milwaukee that he backs Democrat Senator Tammy Baldwin’s similar effort.
“I do. I support the concept of everything from the U.S.,” Trump said. “I’m very much into that and I agree with her 100 percent.”
A number of Democrats have been putting pressure on Trump to support their “Buy America” proposal. Baldwin’s proposal would require the use of American steel and iron products in certain drinking-water projects.
“If the president is serious about Buy America, the most important thing he can do is announce his support for Tammy Baldwin’s bill today. That would be real,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters at a conference call on Tuesday.
The same requirements were added to a waterways bill last year, but were edited off from the final version by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Critics argued that the requirement would unjustly block certain companies from receiving federal funds.
“Now that President Trump has expressed his support for my Buy America reform, I’m hopeful he will join me in pushing Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan on legislative action,” Baldwin said in a statement.
Supporters of Buy America requirements think Trump could be a powerful ally in their cause, since he has long promised to hire American employees and buy American products while in office.
However, proponents also complained that trump’s executive didn’t do enough, and called on him to support their efforts regarding the issue in Congress as well.
“That’s why I’ve asked President Trump to work with me on my legislation to use American steel and iron and American labor to build all taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
Trump’s executive order will direct government agencies to consider American firms over foreign businesses when rewarding contracts for federal projects.