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Public Statements

Letter to Board of Directors, Bay Area Rapid Transit

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Fairfield, CA

Today, Bay Area Representatives John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena, CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma, CA), Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto, CA), and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland, CA) sent a letter to BART encouraging them to "give top tier consideration" to bids that use the highest percent of American manufactured content for their new fleet of rail cars. A copy of that letter is included below and linked here.

"Our tax dollars for transportation projects should go toward manufacturing American equipment and employing American workers -- that's just common sense," said Congressman John Garamendi. "When we Make It In America, we create jobs throughout the entire economy -- and creating jobs must be our top priority."

"San Francisco's subway system should be made in America," said Rep. Mike Thompson. "American manufacturing is a pillar of job creation, but to create those jobs we need usinesses buying and using products made in America. I encourage BART to strongly consider firms that use American made products as we upgrade our region's mass transit system."

"We can cultivate job creation and economic growth by supporting American businesses that innovate and make products in the U.S.," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. "As BART prepares its multi-billion dollar bid for new rail cars, I join my colleagues from Northern California in encouraging critical investments in our people and our economy that leverage private-sector dollars to rebuild our local mass transit system and create jobs. Tax dollars should be directed to out-building our competitors, helping businesses grow, and building an America that is made to last."

Congressman Garamendi recently held a press conference at Treasure Island highlighting this issue. He is the author of the Airports, Highways, Trains, and Transit: Make It In America Act (H.R. 613), which would create American jobs by strengthening Buy American requirements for federally funded transportation projects.

The Bay Area Representatives' letter to the BART Board of Directors is included below:

April 19, 2012

Board of Directors
Bay Area Rapid Transit
300 Lakeside Dr.
Oakland, CA 94604-2688
Dear Directors,

As Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) considers bids on 260 new rail cars, we encourage you to give top tier consideration to firms that are maximizing Buy America content. We believe we must Make It In America to rebuild our country's manufacturing sector. Our fare box money and our federal tax dollars should go toward manufacturing American equipment and employing American workers.

As the largest transit agency on the West Coast, BART is in a strong position to help create thousands of American jobs with this multi-billion dollar bid for new rail cars. If BART invests the more than three billion dollars in a bid that employs American workers, other transportation equipment manufacturers will take notice of BART's commitment to America.

As Members of Congress representing communities serviced by BART, we want our region to be a leader in creating American jobs. We have been tireless advocates to Make It In America, and we have stood with the BART Board when it has reaffirmed its support for Buy America procurement policies.

We are grateful for BART's public and vocal leadership to Make It In America, but now is the time to convert words into actions. We do not want to see a repeat of the Bay Bridge Chinese steel boondoggle. When considering bids for new rail cars, BART should Make It In America and choose a firm fully committed to growing the American economy.

When we vote to fund transportation funding in Congress, including BART, we want to make sure that federal taxpayer dollars are supporting American workers. When we speak to our constituents, we want them to know that our region's transportation agencies are with us as we fight to reinvest in America's transportation infrastructure and support the middle class.

With public investments at BART and other transportation agencies, we need to Make It In America, not subsidize foreign competitors. We ask that BART maximize Make It In America and American jobs when considering bids for contracts.

Sincerely,

John Garamendi
Member of Congress

Mike Thompson
Member of Congress

Lynn Woolsey
Member of Congress

Anna Eshoo
Member of Congress

Barbara Lee
Member of Congress


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