Congress Moves toward “Buy American” Steel for Schools
There is a move in the U.S. Congress to protect schools from “unsafe steel from China” and elsewhere. The 21st-Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (H.R. 3021) would mandate American made steel in all public school construction projects. The legislation is supported by the Congressional Steel Caucus.
Earlier this year the Steel Market Update along with Steel Business Briefing and other news organizations reported on the failure of Chinese pipe and tubing that had been installed in public schools in California. It was discovered that the pipe and tubing did not meet the testing standards to which it had been ordered.
Representative Pete Visclosky held hearings in April about sub-standard steel being imported into the United States. According to an American Metal Market article U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection had no way of monitoring the safety of foreign steel.
H.R. 3021 would require that any facility using federal funds under the jurisdiction of the Transportation Department, Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security must use 100% domestic steel. This measure would apply to civilian and military construction projects including airports, bridges, railroads, tunnels, harbors, piers and the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. All would need to utilize 100% domestically produced steel.
According to AMM the bill is not expected to go anywhere this year but, there are speculations that if Obama becomes president it would quickly pass. (Source: American Metal Market)