WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2021 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate in full support of including a critical amendment to the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The amendment would strengthen Buy American domestic content requirements for major defense acquisition programs.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) sponsored the amendment, entitled “Enhanced Domestic Content Requirement for Major Defense Acquisition Programs.” Under the current Buy American requirement, an end item need only be made up of 55 percent domestic content for the whole item to be considered “Made in America.” Sen. Duckworth’s language included in the House-passed FY22 NDAA with bipartisan support would gradually increase this percentage to 75 by January 1, 2029. This phased-in approach will give the domestic defense industry the time and clear signal needed to create jobs by adjusting to the increased domestic content requirement.
The amendment, championed in the U.S. House by U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), was included in the bipartisan House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“Buy American policies serve the public good by targeting our tax dollars for the purchase of American made products, thereby employing U.S. workers and putting our federal tax receipts to work here at home,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “For far too long we have neglected to properly consider the impact of defense procurement policy on our domestic industrial base and, consequently, on the U.S. economy. We as a nation need to act strategically when it comes to defense procurement. Not only do we need to supply our men and women in uniform with the best possible products and equipment, but we must also support the U.S. defense industrial base, including the small and midsized firms across America that constitute the supply chain for critical defense programs.”
The IAM has been pushing the increase for years in order to strengthen the defense industrial base and domestic supply chain while helping prevent vulnerabilities created by military products being made in China and other countries.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airline, railroad, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.