Bipartisan New York Congressional Delegation, IAM Union Oppose Efforts to Build Brightline West Train Sets Overseas, Skirt ‘Buy America’ Protections

A bipartisan coalition of New York Congressional Representatives is joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in opposing an effort to purchase two foreign train sets for the Brightline West high-speed rail project. 

The IAM submitted public comments opposing a Buy America waiver request by the Nevada Department of Transportation to purchase the foreign train sets. Seven members of Congress from New York, Reps. Nick Langworthy (R), Elise Stefanik (R), Joe Morelle (D), Dan Meuser (R), Marcus Molinaro (R), Anthony D’Esposito (R) and Nicole Malliotakis (R), have also written a joint letter to the Federal Railroad Administration affirming support for strong Buy America requirement for the emerging domestic high-speed rail industry. 

In a letter to the FRA, the IAM expresses concerns about using U.S. taxpayer funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to purchase foreign-made trains.

“Domestic content policies, such as Buy America requirements in transportation and infrastructure projects, serve the public good by targeting taxpayer dollars for the purchase of American made products and components, thereby employing U.S. workers and putting our federal tax receipts to work here at home,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “Buy America requirements help ensure that our tax dollars are used to support the U.S. workforce and the firms who employ them.”

The IAM and the New York congressional delegation are advocating for the train sets to be built by U.S. workers at Alstom in Hornell, N.Y. IAM Local 2741 (District 19) members at the facility currently produce the high-speed trains that will replace the current fleet of Amtrak’s Acela service.

“To ensure the United States can meet its own transportation needs, high-speed trains acquired for the Brightline West project must align with Buy America policy,” writes the New York congressional delegation in its letter to FRA. “Granting any waiver to exempt high-speed train sets and high-speed rail infrastructure from these regulations would disproportionately favor foreign suppliers, undermining the growth of our domestic manufacturing sector.

“The IAM firmly believes existing U.S. industry has the capacity to produce high-speed trains domestically while simultaneously growing this industry and the American workforce,” said Bryant. “The IAM greatly appreciates the Biden-Harris Administration for its commitment to a future of extending U.S. high-speed rail transportation. We encourage this growth of high-speed rail with making good on the administration’s promise to stand with American workers.”

Share and Follow: