Murphy signs bill requiring domestic steel and iron products for state projects
Gov. Phil Murphy passed a bill on Thursday requiring the state government to procure steel and iron products used for permanent construction from businesses in America or its territories.
The bill contains exceptions that allow the use of non-US steel if the use of domestic products would not serve the public interest, result in a loss of federal funds, or in the event of an emerging need.
There are also exceptions for supply shortages, long lead times, some trade treaties, projects that began before the bill was enacted on June 24 and where using domestic products would increase overall costs by more than 25%.
The bill passed unanimously on Monday and was promulgated by Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday.
“Requiring the purchase of products made in the United States for government procurement makes good economic sense,” said Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford), his sponsor. âWe have an obligation to use public funds in a way that helps both our workers and our businesses. It’s part of a national movement to support American jobs that will help revitalize infrastructure statewide and build the strength of our manufacturing industries. “
Sweeney is vice president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
The legislation comes after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in January that increased the prices at which federal agencies could purchase goods from U.S. suppliers and bolstered other national preferences.
New Jersey’s measure could prove to be an election boon. The bill is likely to be favored by the New Jersey building trades as Gov. Phil Murphy and every seat in the Legislature will be elected in November, though it is not clear whether he will be will translate into material support to the campaign.