The Daily Mail's March 7 editorial, "Rahall bill would hurt jobs: By Made in America, he means paying 25 percent more for steel" incorrectly concludes that legislation I introduced to ensure that federal infrastructure investments support American jobs, and not jobs overseas, would hurt domestic employment.
The idea that we no longer need to make things in this country, and can just import all manner of goods from overseas because they might cost a little less, is what has lead to the loss of more than 56,000 U.S. factories and almost 3 million manufacturing jobs in the last decade.
It's bad enough that our trade agreements have fueled this flight of American jobs, but the idea that we should go a step further and ship our tax dollars overseas to sustain foreign industries as they build our infrastructure is truly appalling.
Keeping higher-value manufacturing activities outside of the United States means far more jobs are created in the home countries of these companies, and innovation and capabilities continue to be developed outside of the United States.
But if we invest the billions in taxpayer dollars that we spend annually on our infrastructure in American materials and labor, as my bill would do, we bring more jobs, skills and economic activity back to the United States.
The moral and economic cost of keeping our workers in the unemployment line as our tax dollars are sent overseas to support jobs in other countries is far greater than the potential savings on cheap Chinese materials, which is why I will continue to strongly push this legislation.
Rep. Nick Joe Rahall
Rahall, a Democrat, represents West Virginia's 3rd District.