FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., January 26, 2009 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today called on Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., to reject a campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to strip “Buy America” provisions from the pending $825 billion economic stimulus package.
“We are in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, with more than 11 million Americans out of work and millions more on the brink of being laid off,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “It is outrageous for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assist foreign contractors hoping to gain access to funds clearly designed to stimulate local and state economies.”
In a recent letter to House and Senate leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and 13 high-powered lobbying organizations, warned Congressional leaders against any use or expansion of “Buy American” provisions, which are designed to ensure U.S. companies and U.S. workers benefit from U.S. government spending.
“The extraordinary gall of these corporate lobbyists to align themselves with foreign corporations at this time is nothing short of economic treason,” declared Buffenbarger. “Every other country in the world puts its own industries and workers first. For the sake of our nation and our economic recovery, our elected officials should do the same.”
The IAM is among the nation’s largest and most politically active industrial trade unions, represents more than 700,000 active and retired workers in industries including aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding and woodworking. Visit www.goiam.org for more information about the IAM.