MURPHY CALLS ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO KEEP “BUY AMERICAN” PROMISE & USE AMERICAN-MADE PRODUCTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE

Murphy: Connecticut’s Manufacturers, Like The Platt Brothers And Company In Waterbury, “Are Eager To Assist”

HARTFORD – (RealEstateRama) — Ahead of the Trump administration’s scheduled announcement of a Buy American executive order and release of a plan outlining how they will procure materials for the construction of U.S. pipelines and infrastructure, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) – author of the American Jobs Matter Act – called on the administration to keep its promise and require all components be American-made. Murphy heard from Connecticut manufacturers, like The Platt Brothers and Company in Waterbury, that produce high-quality component parts and are eager to assist. In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Murphy emphasized that using American-made and Connecticut-made products, such as the Platt Brothers’ Plattline product, is the best way to support U.S. manufacturing jobs, grow our economy, and ensure that American infrastructure is built using the highest quality products.

“As you develop your Presidentially-mandated plan for pipeline construction please consider vital American-made components as part of your overall strategy to build safe U.S.-made pipelines. I believe [The Platt Brothers and Company] can be helpful to you and the President in developing your plan to construct American-made infrastructure. Please have your staff work with my staff to obtain more information about this or any of Connecticut’s manufacturers who are eager to assist in the construction of American-made infrastructure,” wrote Murphy. “I strongly believe that our country needs to end our overreliance on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy. However, to the extent that pipelines are constructed or modified, mandating the purchase and use of American-made component products such as Plattline is the most prudent way to proceed. Not only will these American-made components create jobs for domestic manufacturers, but they will also improve the environmental safety of these pipeline projects.”

Murphy has led a consistent push in Congress to strengthen and improve Buy American laws and support U.S. manufacturing. Weeks after President Trump walked back his promise and announced that the slated Keystone XL pipeline would not be constructed in entirety with American-made steel, Murphy joined a group of senators in urging the administration to ensure, at minimum, that pipelines be constructed and maintained with American-made products and equipment. Earlier this year, Murphy called on President Trump to immediately take action to close loopholes in Buy American laws that too often hurt American manufacturers. He also requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office investigate U.S. government compliance with laws and regulations – such as the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment – that require U.S. agencies to prioritize the purchase of American-made goods.

The full text of the letter is available online and below:

The Honorable Wilbur Ross
Secretary of Commerce
Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Ross:

I write in reference to the Presidential Memorandum dated January 24, 2017 regarding “Construction of American Pipelines”. This memorandum directed your Department to produce a plan to procure domestically manufactured materials for new, retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines. The goal of this initiative, according to the President, is to support U.S. manufacturing industry, and to ensure that these projects are built with the highest quality products.

As the President’s memorandum makes clear, in addition to the steel pipe, many other ancillary materials are used in pipeline construction, repairs, and retrofits. I am pleased that the President’s memorandum sets a goal of using only American-made components in all facets of pipeline work, and I ask that your plan will honor the President’s commitment by similarly requiring all components in pipeline work be American-made.

As you are aware, in addition to steel, pipelines require an array of protective and functional component products in order to work effectively. Many of these component pieces require complicated manufacturing processes, and are critical to ensuring that pipelines in the United States are constructed safely, function properly, and pose minimal risk to the environment.

There is a company in my state, The Platt Brothers and Company, which manufactures a high quality component of this nature. The story of American manufacturing can be told through The Platt Brothers over the course of their over 200 years in business. Over the centuries, as American manufacturing developed, The Platt Brothers grew into a leading global manufacturer.

I believe this company can be helpful to you and the President in developing your plan to construct American-made infrastructure. The Platt Brothers makes a product which has already been successfully deployed, that helps protect pipelines from electrical currents that can be dangerous when pipelines share land with overhead power lines. This zinc ribbon anode has the ability to protect pipes from pin holes and other leakage generated by the stray current from power lines that often share the same corridors. Plattline acts as a grounding rod, drawing the electro-magnetic charge away from the pipe. The foreign-produced alternatives to this product are of significantly lesser quality, which is unacceptable for this important application.

I strongly believe that our country needs to end our overreliance on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy. However, to the extent that pipelines are constructed or modified, mandating the purchase and use of American-made component products such as Plattline is the most prudent way to proceed. Not only will these American-made components create jobs for domestic manufacturers, but they will also improve the environmental safety of these pipeline projects.

I am encouraged by your commitment to buying American-made materials for the construction of pipelines in the United States. I am now asking you to make good on that commitment. As you develop your Presidentially-mandated plan for pipeline construction please consider these vital American-made components as part of your overall strategy to build safe U.S.-made pipelines. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Please have your staff work with my staff to obtain more information about this or any of Connecticut’s manufacturers who are eager to assist in the construction of American-made infrastructure. I look forward to your response prior to the publication of the plan mandated by the President’s January 24th Memorandum.

Sincerely,

Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator

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