Stabenow Announces Legislation to Toughen Up Buy American Act and Create More Jobs at Home

Friday, March 31, 2017

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced the Make It In America Act, which closes loopholes in the current Buy American law so the federal government is spending American tax dollars to buy products made in America. This Act also holds federal agencies accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars. 


The Buy American Act, which was passed in 1933, gives priority to American companies when the federal government purchases goods.  However, the current law has numerous exemptions.


The Senator announced her legislation during an appearance with Michael Voevodsky, CEO of R.A. Miller Industries, Inc. (RAMI), a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced antenna systems for global military communications. U.S. Senator Gary Peters is a co-sponsor of the legislation. 


“It’s common sense that American tax dollars be used to purchase products made in America, not overseas,” said Senator Stabenow.  “My Make It In America Act will create more opportunities for American jobs by strengthening our current Buy American law and holding federal agencies accountable.  The products needed by our federal agencies, including critical defense systems, are being designed and made by talented Michigan workers and workers across the country. American jobs and American businesses need to be our highest priority."

“Spending American tax dollars on products made by American workers not only helps create jobs, it’s a critical component of protecting our national security, especially when it comes to equipment for our servicemembers,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to join Senator Stabenow in introducing this commonsense legislation that will improve the enforcement of Buy American rules to help boost Michigan’s manufacturing industry and grow our economy.”


“America’s national security requires a robust, reliable and secure communications infrastructure. With our highly trained engineering and manufacturing workforce, RAMI is unmatched in our technical excellence and quality to connect America’s military leadership with our men and women on the front lines,” said RAMI CEO Michael Voevodsky. “The Make It In America Act would increase accountability and ensure the mission-critical systems connecting America’s defense networks are designed, manufactured and supported by Americans.”


Recently, the federal government has awarded over $70 billion in contracts to foreign companies that do not manufacture products here in the United States.  In fact, a recent Department of Defense Inspector General report found that the Air Force inconsistently enforced Buy American requirements and purchased foreign-made goods.  RAMI is one of many U.S. companies that have felt the impact of improper enforcement of Buy American standards. 


In certain instances, the Buy American Act can be waived, such as if the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, if doing so is in the public interest, or if the product will be used overseas. The Make It In America Act would make it harder to use these waivers and require agencies to submit an annual report to Congress on the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on foreign made goods. 


RAMI has more than 60 years of experience, designing, engineering and manufacturing communications equipment that have connected America’s global military in mission critical applications in the harshest environments around the world.  For more information on R.A. Miller Industries, Inc. visit their website at