Trump's `Buy America' Silence on Public Works Irks Manufacturers

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s proposal to upgrade U.S. infrastructure was met with a collective groan from American manufacturers who complained that the president ignored his “Buy America” promises.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing, a Washington-based nonprofit partnership of producers and the United Steelworkers union, said the White House’s infrastructure plan failed to give stipulations for domestic manufacturers and workers to get the first shot at government contracts. In recent months, the group has urged the president to follow through on promises to protect American jobs against steel imports. 

“The president promised on Inauguration Day that his infrastructure plan would ‘follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American,’ ” Scott Paul, the president of the alliance, said in a statement. “Today, that promise seems to have disappeared. We hope the White House will swiftly clarify its position on Buy America for infrastructure.”

Makers of steel, aluminum and machinery have kept a close watch on a potential infrastructure proposal from the president. A boost in spending is expected to raise demand, although Credit Suisse Group AG calculates that only 3 percent to 5 percent of total steel demand goes to big projects.

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