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Austin, TX – Yesterday afternoon, President Trump announced his new trade strategy, which includes tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. In the 85th Regular Legislative Session, Senator Creighton (R-Conroe) authored Senate Bill 1289 to require the use of U.S. manufactured iron and steel in the construction of state buildings and infrastructure. The bill was passed by both chambers, signed by the Governor, and became effective on September 1st, 2017.
“Foreign countries continue to subsidize their manufacturing, circumvent laws, and violate our moral principles, which allow them to flood our market with cheap steel,” said Senator Creighton. “We have seen too many manufacturing facilities across Texas go out of business; I filed this piece of legislation to level the playing field in order to save our manufacturing jobs.”
Senate Bill 1289 required state agencies to use iron or steel manufactured in the United States in infrastructure projects that permanently incorporates iron or steel. Texas already complies with many Buy America provisions:
- Starting in 1978, any federally funded transportation project is required to use U.S. manufactured iron and steel;
- In 1995, the Texas Legislature expanded the Buy America provisions to include state highway projects that do not utilize federal funds;
- In 2013, these provisions were expanded to apply to the Texas Water Development Board; and
- As of 2014, recipients of federal funding for local water infrastructure projects are also required to use U.S. manufactured iron and steel.
President Trump’s recently signed executive order will place a 25 percent tariff on all imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on all imported aluminum. Mexico and Canada will continue to be exempt from the new tariffs during the NAFTA negotiations.
“Free trade cannot exist when our manufacturers are competing against subsidized, government-owned manufacturers,” said Senator Creighton. “We must protect American jobs and these important industries.”
Because of initiatives like this, Texas remains the best place to do business. Today, Governor Abbott was awarded the Governor’s Cup because Texas created the most jobs in the country for the sixth consecutive year.
Senator Brandon Creighton represents Senate District 4, which encompasses Chambers, Jefferson and parts of Montgomery, Harris and Galveston Counties.