Biden: US infrastructure to be made with US construction materials
By Andy Brown08 February 2023
During his State of the Union address US President Joe Biden issued guidance to ensure construction materials in federal infrastructure projects are made in the US.
“Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America,” he said.
“American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables. And on my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways will be made with American products.”
Biden also spoke about the importance of infrastructure to the US economy and how the country’s infrastructure had fallen behind that of other countries.
“To maintain the strongest economy in the world, we also need the best infrastructure in the world. We used to be number one in the world in infrastructure, then we fell to number thirteen.
“Now we’re coming back because we came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System.”
The chief executive officer of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Doug Carlson, commentating on the speech, said, “Our projects require a very complex mix of materials, some of which are not domestically manufactured. Our nation’s utility construction industry literally digs into fresh American soil to complete our projects, so we support sourcing materials from American manufacturers.
“But a one-size-fit-all solution never fits individual projects like ours. Some components are not made in the United States and must be bought overseas to complete a job. Other materials sourced from foreign sources are significantly cheaper and hold down federal government infrastructure expenditures. On some projects, a delay on a single critical part can delay the entire project, driving up costs and significantly postponing its completion.”
Carlson did praise Biden’s work on infrastructure, saying, “Since President Biden signed into law the 2021 core infrastructure bill, critical water, wastewater, broadband, natural gas, and electric projects are now finding federal funding. That’s something all Americans can be proud of.”