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New York’s Buy America Proposal Will Boomerang to Hurt US Workers and Economy

“Buy America.” Sounds good when you say it, but despite being well-intentioned, such policies simply do not reflect the reality of the modern marketplace and can ultimately serve to do more harm than good for American workers and our economy. That is why the IT Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS) recently joined 30 business associations representing companies across several industry sectors to urge New York state policymakers to rethink a proposal that would require state entities to purchase products made in the United States for all contracts greater than $100,000.

We share the goal of creating new job opportunities that put Americans to work and grow our economy, but we are concerned because this provision will not achieve that goal. It could ultimately limit the ability of New York-based companies to be competitive in the modern economy, impact workers whose jobs rely on the global economy, and lead to increased costs for taxpayers.

Through additional compliance and regulatory burdens placed on government customers and vendors alike, agencies will be challenged to maximize competition among technology products and suppliers that are critical to providing a more efficient and cost-effective government and improved constituent services. This proposal will unnecessarily limit access to the most innovative technologies, while at the same time unintentionally isolating New York from U.S.-based businesses that are also competing in the global marketplace.

The technology industry is pioneering cutting-edge products and services that help improve people’s daily lives and bring state of the art solutions to the public sector. Our member companies are creating jobs all across the country. The high-tech sector employs roughly 13 million people - averaging 30,000 people per congressional district – according to a new report. In New York alone, the high-tech sector employs one out of ten workers and contributes $12.56 billion in manufacturing exports.

To keep New York competitive in the global economy and ensure state agencies, public universities and colleges, and an array of state, regional, and local purchasing authorities continue to have access to the most innovative technologies, we urge the Governor to remove this harmful provision from the state’s final FY 2018 Budget.

ITAPS will continue to educate policymakers in New York and beyond on the unintended consequences ‘Buy America’ provisions ultimately have in impacting economic growth and the government purchasing of innovative technologies and solutions.

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