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Real Property & Development Review

Oregon “Buy America Act” Proposed

Posted in Construction

The Oregon Legislative Assembly is introducing new concepts for the legislative session, including…

requiring public contractors to use core materials on projects (iron, steel, etc.) that are manufactured in the US.

A copy of proposed HB 2358 can be found here:

www.leg.state.or.us/11reg/measpdf/hb2300.dir/hb2358.intro.pdf

As with the analogous Federal Law (Buy America Act -41 U.S.C. Sec 10a-10d), which has been around since the Great Depression, the proposed Oregon law has some exceptions, but the overall goal is the same:

support the US economy by ensuring tax payer money used to fund public projects becomes invested in US companies.

Ironically, as drafted, this new law is an express exception to the contracting agency’s duty to make every effort to construct at the lowest possible cost to the tax payer.

That debate over whether to reach deeper into tax payer pockets (because outsourcing may be less expensive) in exchange for supporting US companies continues.  Good arguments to be made on both sides…without someone typically feeling like he or she is holding the bag…