WASHINGTON—Two Democratic senators submitted a new Government Accountability Office report on government procurement to President Trump and urged him to enforce the "Buy American, Hire American" trade policy he campaigned on.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jeff Merkley of Oregon said the GAO prepared the report based on their inquiries about the effects of trade agreements on federal government procurement policies.
"This report finds that our government allows foreign firms more opportunities to bid on U.S. taxpayer-financed procurement than American firms receive in return from trade partner countries," Baldwin and Merkley wrote in their March 10 letter, the text of which was released by the Alliance of American Manufacturers.
According to the report, the U.S. opens twice as much procurement to foreign firms as the next five largest signatories of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement together. Those signatories are the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Norway and Canada, Baldwin and Merkley wrote.
"For the first time, this report definitively shows that even with regard to the European Union, which has procurement activity of similar value to the United States, we have given away much more access than we received," they wrote.
Baldwin and Merkley called on Trump to honor his commitment to a "Buy American" policy by suspending Buy American waivers for foreign firms until his administration can renegotiate the government procurement chapters in U.S. trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"Absent such action, every government contract your administration signs risks sending hardworking Americans' tax dollars abroad," they wrote.
The AAM is a longtime advocate of "Buy American" laws.