Broad Coalition of NY Taxpayers, Business Groups and Economic Developers Oppose Governor Cuomo’s ‘Buy American’ Proposal

ALBANY – A broad coalition of 30 organizations representing New York employers, taxpayers and economic developers today sent a letter to Governor Cuomo and state legislators warning against the detrimental consequences of the governor’s “Buy American” proposal. This coalition – which includes MedTech, Unshackle Upstate, the Organization for International Investment and the Consumer Technology Association – represents employers that collectively employ more than a million New York workers. 

Here are three excerpts from the letter:

“While the concept of ‘Buy American’ may sound well-intended, this measure would have unwanted impacts on large and small New York employers alike, undermining the very outcomes the budget hopes to achieve in spurring economic development. There is no guarantee that forced localization policies will lead to local job creation. The employers we represent fear the reverse will happen, damaging New York’s reputation as a state ready to compete in the 21st Century economy.”
“[The governor’s ‘Buy American’] requirements undermine manufacturing in the state and limit the ability of New York-based companies to succeed and compete…. [and] would increase costs for taxpayers and affect hundreds of thousands of New York workers whose jobs rely on the global economy.”
“Ultimately, this proposal would impose domestic content requirements that are difficult (if not impossible) to meet across many industries, eroding marketplace competition. Decreased competition would hurt New York taxpayers as project costs increase and the quality of goods may diminish.”

Under Governor Cuomo’s proposal, outlined in the FY 2018 Executive Budget, all state agencies, public universities and colleges, as well as an array of state and local purchasing authorities would be barred from purchasing products that are manufactured domestically unless at least 60 percent of the final product’s components and subcomponents are produced in the United States.

The letter, a copy of which can be found here, was signed by the following organizations: 

Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
Associated Equipment Distributors
Associated General Contractors, New York State
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Association of Global Automakers, Inc.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)
Consumer Technology Association
Equipment Dealers Association
Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce
Information Technology Alliance for the Public Sector
Information Technology Industry Council
Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance
National Foreign Trade Council
New York State Chemistry Council
New York State Economic Development Council
Niagara USA Chamber
North Country Chamber of Commerce
Organization for International Investment
Power Tool Institute
Security Industry Association
Semiconductor Industry Association
Telecommunications Industry Association
Trans-Atlantic Business Council
Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association
Unshackle Upstate