In Bridgeport, Senator Stabenow Releases New “Buy American” Report

First-of-its-kind report part of her Buy American Agenda

Monday, September 10, 2018

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today released her “Buy American” Report, during an event at Cignys in Bridgeport. Her report reveals that federal agencies used loopholes in our nation’s Buy American laws to issue over $92 billion in contracts to foreign companies between 2008-2016. For example, the Department of Defense has awarded the most contracts to foreign companies—$154 billion during this time period. More than half of the Defense Department’s foreign spending was due to Buy American loopholes. These are contracts that could have gone to companies creating jobs and manufacturing here in Michigan or in other states.


Stabenow’s report is part of her Buy American agenda to ensure American tax dollars are being spent on products made in America.


“Our American workers and manufacturers are the best in the world and should come first when it comes to government contracts and spending,” said Senator Stabenow. “My report shows that foreign companies are benefitting from loopholes in our nation’s Buy American laws. My agenda closes these loopholes, holds the federal government accountable, and creates opportunities for Michigan businesses and workers.”

Founded in 1919, Cignys provides high-end machining, fabricating, paint and assembly operations for the defense, aerospace and automotive industries. It has locations in Saginaw, Bridgeport and Thomas Township.  Cignys recently announced a $6 million capital expansion to support the defense and aerospace markets, and create 50 new jobs.

“Cignys supports customers in the defense, aerospace, and automotive industries, many of which contract with the federal government,” said Jim Kendall, President and CEO of Cignys. “We appreciate Senator Stabenow’s visit to highlight efforts that will lead to more taxpayer dollars being spent in Michigan for American-made products.”

“Many companies in Saginaw County and the Great Lakes Bay Region could benefit from a strong Buy American law”, said JoAnn Crary, President of Saginaw Future Inc. “It’s certainly frustrating when foreign companies are awarded contracts over our own manufacturers who provide superior quality, delivery, productivity and service.”


“Senator Stabenow has been a strong champion for manufacturing in the state of Michigan and across the United States,” said Mike Coast, President of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. “Her support of the Make It In America Act is another example of her unwavering commitment and determination to keep manufacturing work here in Michigan along with all of the jobs that go with it.”


Stabenow’s first-of-its-kind Buy American report analyzed previously unreleased data on foreign purchases made by 17 federal agencies. The report highlighted loopholes in our Buy American Act, which was passed in 1933 to ensure that federal agencies purchase products that are manufactured in the United States.


Stabenow’s report found that billions of dollars in taxpayer money are going to companies in countries like Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, South Korea, and Japan, among others. This money could be supporting Michigan manufacturers and workers, especially in key sectors that represent some of the strongest drivers of Michigan’s economy, including vehicle manufacturing, aerospace, electronics, and furniture. 


Senator Stabenow’s report is part of her Buy American Agenda to strengthen our nation’s Buy American laws. That includes her Make It In America Act (S.908), which closes loopholes, prioritizes American firms, eliminates exemptions, and demands higher transparency in foreign contracting. It also requires agencies to submit an annual report to Congress on the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on foreign made goods. 


In addition, Stabenow’s agenda includes her Made In America Act of 2018 (S.2865), which adds new Buy America requirements to 16 federal programs that provide $10 billion in federal funding or financial assistance to infrastructure projects.