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New legislation introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin could mean more business for the US shipbuilding industry, including the local shipyard.
The Made in America Shipbuilding Act expands current Buy American laws relating to the federal government’s purchase of ships to cover all federal agencies, classes of ships, and on-board systems. Baldwin says the legislation would require federal agencies buying ships with US tax dollars to only purchase vessels that are built in America by American workers using American materials.
Currently, Buy American requirements for the Navy only apply to certain classes of ships because Congress includes those requirements each year in their annual appropriations bills. Other agencies purchasing ships using tax money include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Interior. Baldwin says this bill will level the playing field for U-S shipbuilders and could not only provide more contracts for Fincantieri Marinette Marine, but manufacturers of shipbuilding materials across the region.
Baldwin says the Made in America Shipbuilding Act could move through Congress as a freestanding bill or as part of a larger legislation package pertaining to the shipbuilding industry. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.