Buy American clause for Montgomery

Councilman Marc Elrich is circulating a draft “Buy American” requirement for MoCO expenditures under the federal stimulus package.   The specifics are not public, but the analogous requirements suggested for the federal law indicated that “all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods” used in the project must have been produced in the U.S.

In other words, if any part of the materials used in roadbuilding, construction projects, or other stimulus spending came from Canada or overseas, the project would have to be put on hold until an American supplier was found.  Likely at higher cost (else what would be the point of using the supplies to begin with?).  So the end result of such a resolution would be to delay spending and increase the costs.

On the other hand, considering how politically connected vendors tend to be rewarded with these funds, and considering the damage to the economy from increasing the federal debt and paying for useless white elephant projects, maybe delaying the spending — indefinitely — might not be such a bad idea.  I think another rider should be considered:  All stimulus spending has to include some amount of goods or services from Jupiter.

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