WASHINGTON, DC— Edward Wytkind (@EdWytkind), president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement following the decision by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to squander a chance to boost domestic manufacturing in the selection of a rail car supplier:
“Today the BART Board gave its stamp of approval to a rail car manufacturing bid that will send $4 out of every $10 in federal taxpayer revenue overseas. This decision is a major disappointment to the U.S. economy and domestic transportation manufacturing.
“This procurement by BART was a real U.S. market-making opportunity – an opportunity to blaze a trail in creating a domestic supply chain for passenger rail cars that goes beyond this one bid. Instead, BART selected a bid that just meets federal transit Buy America requirements but falls well short of the Obama Administration’s domestic content requirement of 100 percent for high-speed rail projects.
“The losing bidder, Alstom Transportation, would have delivered rail cars with 95 percent domestic content. This would have been a major turning point in how our public transportation systems use the procurement process to boost American jobs.
“Our nation must stop turning away companies that want to invest in and support the manufacturing needs of our transportation system. It is time for our public transportation providers to realize that a world-class transportation system and a strong manufacturing sector are inter-dependent.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org or on Facebook and Twitter.