Councilman calls for more Made in America
CITY HALL - February 9, 2012 (WPVI) -- The Made in America movement has made its way to Philadelphia City Hall.
City Councilman Jim Kenny says it might cost a little more, but within reasonable limits, it's worth it.
Councilman Kenney wants to use City Hall's sizable purchasing clout to buy Made in Philadelphia, Made in Pennsylvania or Made in America.
He argues that with lingering unemployment and American business struggling, tax money should stay as close to home as possible, if possible.
"To ensure the dollars the taxpayers are spending are spent in this city, in this state, and this country, we can put more of our own people back to work," Councilman Kenney said.
Kenney's pitch is simple - why should the city buy something like foreign made work gloves if there are domestically made gloves available even if they cost a little more?
It's the same with major construction projects. He wants to make sure building materials don't come from China if they can be sourced from the US.
Ditto for the city's fleet of cars.
But complicating things is where do products come from in a global economy? These days, what is an American car?
Is it a Ford Fusion assembled in Mexico with most of its parts from foreign suppliers? Or a Toyota Camry assembled in Kentucky with 75 percent of its parts including its engine made in the USA?
Kenney concedes sourcing can get complicated, but if his bill passes he wants purchasing agents to know the goal, spend as locally as possible.
"If we can focus and have procurement folks and public property folks in the city focus on where the product is coming from, I think we will do better by our countryman and help put people to work," Kenney said.
Kenney's plan has limits. 10-percent is the maximum premium the city would pay for a domestic product over a foreign one.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, city hall, local/state, john rawlins
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