In Grand Rapids, Senator Stabenow Releases New “Buy American” Report

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today released her “Buy American” Report, during an event at Plasan North America in Grand Rapids. 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.”


Plasan North America (PNA) specializes in customer defined, build to print armor and metal fabrication. The company is Michigan based, with a 350,000 sq. ft manufacturing campus located in Grand Rapids. They utilize a wide range of metal and composite manufacturing equipment and processes to provide build to print manufacturing solutions. For more information, visit


“We are very excited to host Senator Stabenow for the release of her Buy American report. Our company strategically established our headquarters and manufacturing operations in Michigan to be close to our customers and to capitalize on the expertise and talent that Michigan is known for,” said Adrienne Stevens, President of Plasan North America & Plasan Carbon Composites. “We fully support her legislation that will help Michigan manufacturers create jobs.”


“Thanks to you, Senator Stabenow, for addressing concerns about U.S. government contracts awarded to foreign businesses for work that could have been performed by companies right here in the United States,” said Jan Campbell, SW Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center.


“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.