by Bonner R. Cohen
Competitive Enterprise Institute
July 03, 2014
Communities will pay excessively high prices for water infrastructure upgrades during the coming decades unless Congress repeals a recently passed “Buy American” law. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) slipped the provision into the Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which the President signed into law in June. It requires localities that accept federal water funds to buy only American steel pipes and other products necessary for water supply infrastructure upgrades – even when more affordable options are available. This blatantly anti-competitive provision will cast a long shadow over efforts to fix the corroding, leaking underground water pipes that plague many of America’s municipalities. Clean and affordable water is much too important to fall victim to cronyism in Washington that rewards the well-connected to the detriment of everyone else. Congress should go back and undo the damage that the Aderholt provision has done by repealing it.