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Via Garibaldi 8

Staten Island lawmakers charge MTA will use inferior steel from China for Verrazano repair work

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Staten Island lawmakers charge MTA will use inferior steel from China for Verrazano repair work

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A project to replace the concrete roadway of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is slated to be completed by 2016.
 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Charging that the MTA is putting cost-savings over safety, two Staten Island lawmakers Tuesday blasted the agency for its decision to purchase steel imported from China for repair work on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

 

State Sen. Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis have asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reconsider its decision to use 15,000 tons of steel fabricated in China to replace the bridge's concrete upper roadway with a lighter steel deck.

"We must consider the impact this plan would have on our fragile economic recovery and the loss of American jobs," said the joint letter.

But the MTA says it has been unable to come up with an American steel maker willing or able to do the job on its timeline, while conceding it would cost an additional $100 million to go with a made-in-the-U.S.A. product. 

The MTA maintains it's not about the steel, but about the fabrication of the panels that are to make up the orthotropic deck.

The MTA has already entered into a $235.7 million contract with American contractor Tutor Perini Corporation. But Tutor Perini has hired China Railway Shanhaiguan Bridge Group to fabricate the steel from steel plate. That plate, in turn, has been acquired from Angang Steel Group, the second-largest steel maker in China.

In a joint statement, the lawmakers characterized it as a "cost-cutting measure that puts the safety of toll-paying motorists at risk."

MTA board member and Staten Islander Allen Cappelli told the Advance he has asked MTA interim executive director Thomas Prendergast for answers -- including whether the steel from China is inferior, as Ms. Savino and Ms. Malliotakis suggest.

Cappelli has also asked about cost and time factors.

In a joint letter to Prendergast, Ms. Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) and Ms. Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn) said the Verrazano project represents the first time that Angang has produced steel plate.

"We fear their lack of expertise might yield a product of substandard quality," the two wrote, " ... (which) will ultimately jeopardize safety and result in costly delays, overruns and, ultimately, repairs ... While we are all concerned about saving costs, we must consider the impact this plan would have on our fragile economic recovery and the loss of American jobs ... It is shocking that the MTA would advance a plan to unnecessarily spend taxpayer dollars on foreign labor and materials. American workers and industry are more than capable of rebuilding the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of using American workers and products on major infrastructure projects."

But according to the MTA, that's not exactly the case.

"Since it began developing specifications for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge upper deck replacement two years ago, MTA Bridges and Tunnels has worked diligently to find an American steel manufacturer with the capability, experience and desire to fabricate the steel bridge deck," said MTA spokeswoman Judie Glave. "Despite reaching out to American steel companies and the General Contractors Association, the MTA could not find an American fabricator. Delaying the project to accommodate an American fabricator would slow it by up to two years and increase the cost by up to $100 million. However, the MTA wants to continue working with the domestic steel industry to develop American-made solutions for bridge projects of this scope and complexity." 

The project is slated to be completed by 2017.

 

Source: http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/06/staten_island_lawmakers_charge.html#incart_most-comments

 

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This is disgusting. We should not be using public funds when our economy is hurting to continue to support the Chinese economy.  This construction company should have the contract pulled from them unless they agree to hire use American materials and American labor to complete this project.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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The United States in general shot itself in it's foot by lending itself to problems due to an excess of imported goods and not enough exports due to the greed of the major manufacturers. This country now fabricates less steel than Japan, as of 2012 producing about 7% of the world’s metal materials. Meanwhile, China forges nearly half of the world’s steel as of now. Currently China is building the greatest bridges in the world (in terms of spans) while utilizing the most modern metallurgy methods available.

 

Even as much as it is well understood that these trade practices is seriously screwing up the economy and causing high rates in terms of outsourcing jobs, the nation historically has suffered from major cases of yellow peril during and after the Cold War era.  That is as objective as I can be concerning this latest controversy.

 

Considering the problems then I would have to say that it would obviously make sense for the MTA to consider supporting our steel industry, buying American. It will improve the economy and in the long run decrease the rate of unemployment. We have the resources to do it, such as with the steel mills in Penn state.

 

I see a tough debate coming.

Edited by realizm
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Let me add that there is a similar controversy concerning the use of foriegn steel in the reconstruction of the The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

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Tough debate?  With some of the members here, you'll see this debate turn into a USA vs China product bullsh*t as usual when half the products they use are probably made or have parts made from China.

 

Anyway, I agree the MTA should at least be using products from the USA but people slandering Chinese products especially as they said they are getting it from the 2nd largest company in China is down right shameful.  They attack their decision on  not obtaining USA products in them and say Chinese is inferior?  The lawmakers better drop their phones as I'm sure most of them and parts of the phones may be from "inferior" China.

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Tough debate?  With some of the members here, you'll see this debate turn into a USA vs China product bullsh*t as usual when half the products they use are probably made or have parts made from China.

 

 

 

That's EXACTLY what I meant!

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Tough debate?  With some of the members here, you'll see this debate turn into a USA vs China product bullsh*t as usual when half the products they use are probably made or have parts made from China.

 

Anyway, I agree the MTA should at least be using products from the USA but people slandering Chinese products especially as they said they are getting it from the 2nd largest company in China is down right shameful.  They attack their decision on  not obtaining USA products in them and say Chinese is inferior?  The lawmakers better drop their phones as I'm sure most of them and parts of the phones may be from "inferior" China.

Well I agree that there is a bit of hypocrisy here.  There are several problems here... The average American consumer wants everything "cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap" and doesn't realize the consequences of wanting everything cheap.  Most of these lawmakers have sat idle while millions of American jobs went overseas.  Now that the recession has hit they're all such "protectionists".

 

The other issue is that the Chinese gov't puts in protectionist measures to protect Chinese jobs, but anytime the Americans even mention it we're labeled as protectionists.  Meanwhile it's okay for the Chinese to do it.   <_< As for their inferior products, it's not just a fallacy.  Their products are inferior.  They're not innovative and simply "copy".  They may be building like crazy over there but they cut all sorts of corners and quality is the last thing on their mind.  In order for the American economy to turn around again, we need the unions here to stop constantly whining about raises and suck it up and work for the overall interest of all Americans.  All I hear is, we need a raise, we work hard.  So do millions of other Americans that have been forced to take on more responsibility in light of this recession.  I am not at all anti-union as I understand their importance but this greed has to stop. 

 

If the unions were willing to make more concessions, we'd able to keep more jobs here and they would benefit.    

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If I spawn a violent debate, everyone has full permission to hate me.

 

 

This is disgusting. We should not be using public funds when our economy is hurting to continue to support the Chinese economy.  This construction company should have the contract pulled from them unless they agree to hire use American materials and American labor to complete this project.

This is one thing I agree on. It would be a better use of the funds if they contributed to companies within the United States. It would be an even greater benefit if the funds could be used in the local area, such as within New York state, or even New Jersey.

 

I doubt there would be a sharp increase in cost as is predicted. If anything I'd assume the costs would be very comparable, especially after factoring the costs of shipping.

 

 

The United States in general shot itself in it's foot by lending itself to problems due to an excess of imported goods and not enough exports due to the greed of the major manufacturers. This country now fabricates less steel than Japan, as of 2012 producing about 7% of the world’s metal materials. Meanwhile, China forges nearly half of the world’s steel as of now. Currently China is building the greatest bridges in the world (in terms of spans) while utilizing the most modern metallurgy methods available.

 

Even as much as it is well understood that these trade practices is seriously screwing up the economy and causing high rates in terms of outsourcing jobs, the nation historically has suffered from major cases of yellow peril during and after the Cold War era.  That is as objective as I can be concerning this latest controversy.

 

Considering the problems then I would have to say that it would obviously make sense for the MTA to consider supporting our steel industry, buying American. It will improve the economy and in the long run decrease the rate of unemployment. We have the resources to do it, such as with the steel mills in Penn state.

 

I see a tough debate coming.

Completely agreed on. One of the major hurdles the U.S. is facing is reversing the effects of outsourcing, which has become almost synonymous among us within the last 20 years.The Steel Industry in the U.S. in particular might as well have died 25 years ago, after the shutdown of plants across the country, and as such much of the industry was outsourced.

 

Continuing, I'm glad to see a shared view of supporting our current resources in the country.

 

 

Tough debate?  With some of the members here, you'll see this debate turn into a USA vs China product bullsh*t as usual when half the products they use are probably made or have parts made from China.

 

Anyway, I agree the MTA should at least be using products from the USA but people slandering Chinese products especially as they said they are getting it from the 2nd largest company in China is down right shameful.  They attack their decision on  not obtaining USA products in them and say Chinese is inferior?  The lawmakers better drop their phones as I'm sure most of them and parts of the phones may be from "inferior" China.

I won't continue with the debate of members here. I will however say it is proven some of them seem to contribute nothing of discussion value around here.

 

Quite honestly, I see it as a cover to purposely slander China and its inhabitants, which is ironic as it's the U.S. itself who had done much of the outsourcing. That itself is shameful. It's one thing to support the U.S., but it's another to push a hidden agenda behind it.



Let me conclude by saying that this missed opportunity for the U.S. to benefit is very typical, and if anything I'd be very surprised if the contract was redone.

Edited by Turbo19

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If its cheap and meets all specifications, I don't see a problem with using imported stuff. Would these complaints be happening if the steel was imported from Germany or Japan?

 

If the answer to that question is yes, then force the MTA to buy domestic steel. If the answer is no, then vote out the politicians! It's obvious they're bashing China for the sake of it.

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If its cheap and meets all specifications, I don't see a problem with using imported stuff. Would these complaints be happening if the steel was imported from Germany or Japan?

 

If the answer to that question is yes, then force the MTA to buy domestic steel. If the answer is no, then vote out the politicians! It's obvious they're bashing China for the sake of it.

I think it's very clear why they're bashing China.  They're using taxpayer dollars to supplement someone else's economy when we have tons of Americans out of work. What part of that don't you comprehend?  

 

Many German and Japanese companies that are here employ AMERICANS and use AMERICAN materials.  An example would be BMW.  They have a plant down in South Carolina employing Americans and also buy some parts from American suppliers.  Same thing applies to Toyota.  Here we're using American taxpayer dollars to supply materials all coming from China which does nothing to help our economy.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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I think it's very clear why they're bashing China.  They're using taxpayer dollars to supplement someone else's economy when we have tons of Americans out of work. What part of that don't you comprehend?  

 

The thing is however it's the big time contractors and agencies on our own soil that promotes this very practice, screwing the everyday American royally and damaging our economy in the process. In many areas. Car manufacturing, textile and chemical production, and other such industries that includes the information technology sector.

 

On another note in studies it was revealed that as the costs of manufacturing in China are rising rapidly, that by 2015, the costs of manufacturing in China will actually be equal to the costs of manufacturing in the US. Can we safely say then that as time progresses that the manufacturing industies as a whole perhaps will see a boom in the US after all these years, in the coming decades?

Edited by realizm
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If its cheap and meets all specifications, I don't see a problem with using imported stuff. Would these complaints be happening if the steel was imported from Germany or Japan?

 

If the answer to that question is yes, then force the MTA to buy domestic steel. If the answer is no, then vote out the politicians! It's obvious they're bashing China for the sake of it.

That's what I'm saying. I'm all for supporting the U.S, but not if there is a personal agenda behind it.

 

 

I think it's very clear why they're bashing China.  They're using taxpayer dollars to supplement someone else's economy when we have tons of Americans out of work. What part of that don't you comprehend?  

 

Many German and Japanese companies that are here employ AMERICANS and use AMERICAN materials.  An example would be BMW.  They have a plant down in South Carolina employing Americans and also buy some parts from American suppliers.  Same thing applies to Toyota.  Here we're using American taxpayer dollars to supply materials all coming from China which does nothing to help our economy.

Agreed, but keep in mind how the term "inferior" is being thrown around. It would seem there is more behind the front of the issue.

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Agreed, but keep in mind how the term "inferior" is being thrown around. It would seem there is more behind the front of the issue.

 

Yeah, which according to some articles I saw in my research to keep up in the discussion, conflicts with that assumption some may have (in general throughout the country I mean), as I experessed before. China apparently is using the latest metallurgic technologies available in Asia so I have to question the validity of some who voice out of pure political yellow peril rather then tackling the real problems ... and causes I must add ... with the US and the trends of outsourcing manufacturing in the global steel industry.

Edited by realizm

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Agreed, but keep in mind how the term "inferior" is being thrown around. It would seem there is more behind the front of the issue.

It's been thrown around exactly the way it should be because there are several reasons why Chinese materials are cheaper.  One is that American regulations are much much higher than Chinese regulations.  That's how so many of their items were able to arrive contaminated from China because there is minimal oversight.  More regulation also means higher costs, so it's not all about the labor.  The argument being put forth is that Chinese steel lacks the same oversight and safety regulations that American steel does, thus making it inferior in terms of quality and also a safety issue.

 

The other issue is the Chinese government pegging their dollar to make Chinese goods cheaper compared to the American dollar.  In simple terms, American businesses have been complaining for years that they can't compete with the Chinese companies because the playing field is not level and it's true.  With a "weaker" Chinese dollar their products seem far cheaper to purchase compared to American ones, even if the other costs are identical.   That means that the Chinese dollar is being held artificially low to make their products cheaper because they aren't bound to the same regulations that American companies, though they should be but the U.S. government continues to remain soft on the issue instead of pressuring the Chinese government to stop making their dollar artificially cheap.

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I don't see the point of the claim that the MTA is using "inferior" Chinese steel... if the steel is being imported and used here in the United States, it will be subject to meet the quality and performance standards set and requested here and not those set in China... the US Government should not be pressuring any other country to do anything with their currency; the US Government is already involved in too many unnecessary, costly, and pointless foreign affairs and do not need to be involved in any more. 

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I don't see the point of the claim that the MTA is using "inferior" Chinese steel... if the steel is being imported and used here in the United States, it will be subject to meet the quality and performance standards set and requested here and not those set in China... the US Government should not be pressuring any other country to do anything with their currency; the US Government is already involved in too many unnecessary, costly, and pointless foreign affairs and do not need to be involved in any more. 

That's the whole argument being made... That it won't meet the quality and performance standards here.  Did you read the article??

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That's the whole argument being made... That it won't meet the quality and performance standards here.  Did you read the article??

Vittorio, andare a dormire, per favore. :lol:

 

Anyway, if that is this case, which I have my doubts on, I hope the residents enjoy crossing the bridge at their own risk.

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Vittorio, andare a dormire, per favore. :lol:

 

Anyway, if that is this case, which I have my doubts on, I hope the residents enjoy crossing the bridge at their own risk.

Stai' zitta!! :lol: You have your doubts huh? They have a very valid reason to be concerned according to this article:

 

"BEIJING—The ramp of an eight-lane bridge in China's northern city of Harbin collapsed Friday, killing three people and injuring five, as concern about the safety of China's infrastructure mounts.

The 320 foot-stretch of highway, part of a 1.9 billion yuan (nearly $300 million) bridge project that opened in November of last year, turned over under the weight of four heavy trucks, according to state-owned Xinhua news agency. The trucks were sent plunging to the ground from a height of nearly 100 feet, Xinhua reported.

The incident was one of at least six highway bridge collapses to occur across the country since July of last year, the report said.

A massive stimulus package rolled out in response to the global financial crisis led to large-scale expansions of highways, high-speed rail and the construction of giant new airports. Yet questions over the quality of infrastructure within China have been mounting recently as deaths and injuries related to failures in public projects and city systems rise."

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444270404577609103255397644.html

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Story is total BS. Most of the USA steel made now a days is not the type needed for this project. USA steel is made mostly types for the auto and other transportation makers. Steel for building bridges and buildings have been imported for some time. Also Quality is not an issue as North American has been importing China steel for years, Dont confuse cheap chinese construction companys for cutting corners on accidents for quality of the steel. Here we have higher standards on construction then in China.

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Story is total BS. Most of the USA steel made now a days is not the type needed for this project. USA steel is made mostly types for the auto and other transportation makers. Steel for building bridges and buildings have been imported for some time. Also Quality is not an issue as North American has been importing China steel for years, Dont confuse cheap chinese construction companys for cutting corners on accidents for quality of the steel. Here we have higher standards on construction then in China.

Mr. Canada has decided to speak out about how we should do things here in the U.S. with American tax dollars  <_< Your fellow citizens there in Canada I'm sure would have a problem spending Canadian tax dollars to support imported labor and materials, which is exactly what we would be doing by allowing this contract to go forward.

 

In fact I am sure that the Canadian government has enacted protectionist laws in some cases to protect Canadian jobs which is exactly what we should be doing here.  The Chinese are not playing fair and the U.S. should be taking them to court for illegally devaluing their currency, but we're so indebted to the Chinese that Obama like Bush wouldn't dare do anything to make waves. <_<  He would rather us continue to go deeper into debt to the Chinese, continue to allow the imbalanced trade deficit between us and China to grow and allow our economy to lose more and more American jobs.  It's no wonder that college graduates can't find jobs.  They're all going to China.  Soon the only jobs that will be here are flipping burgers and then people like you will still be in denial and have no problem with the economic injustices being done.

 

As long as people can get their iPhones "cheap" and their XBoxes, and whatever else they import from China these days, they won't have any problems with the current status quo.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Stai' zitta!! :lol: You have your doubts huh? They have a very valid reason to be concerned according to this article:

 

"BEIJING—The ramp of an eight-lane bridge in China's northern city of Harbin collapsed Friday, killing three people and injuring five, as concern about the safety of China's infrastructure mounts.

The 320 foot-stretch of highway, part of a 1.9 billion yuan (nearly $300 million) bridge project that opened in November of last year, turned over under the weight of four heavy trucks, according to state-owned Xinhua news agency. The trucks were sent plunging to the ground from a height of nearly 100 feet, Xinhua reported.

The incident was one of at least six highway bridge collapses to occur across the country since July of last year, the report said.

A massive stimulus package rolled out in response to the global financial crisis led to large-scale expansions of highways, high-speed rail and the construction of giant new airports. Yet questions over the quality of infrastructure within China have been mounting recently as deaths and injuries related to failures in public projects and city systems rise."

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444270404577609103255397644.html

 

VG8 we're not blind. lol.

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Mr. Canada has decided to speak out about how we should do things here in the U.S. with American tax dollars  <_< Your fellow citizens there in Canada I'm sure would have a problem spending Canadian tax dollars to support imported labor and materials, which is exactly what we would be doing by allowing this contract to go forward.

 

In fact I am sure that the Canadian government has enacted protectionist laws in some cases to protect Canadian jobs which is exactly what we should be doing here.  The Chinese are not playing fair and the U.S. should be taking them to court for illegally devaluing their currency, but we're so indebted to the Chinese that Obama like Bush wouldn't dare do anything to make waves. <_<  He would rather us continue to go deeper into debt to the Chinese, continue to allow the imbalanced trade deficit between us and China to grow and allow our economy to lose more and more American jobs.  It's no wonder that college graduates can't find jobs.  They're all going to China.  Soon the only jobs that will be here are flipping burgers and then people like you will still be in denial and have no problem with the economic injustices being done.

 

As long as people can get their iPhones "cheap" and their XBoxes, and whatever else they import from China these days, they won't have any problems with the current status quo.

 

 

Again North Amercian steel is a different grade more higher grade that is not made for this type of project, stop complaining that China makes what this project needs. What you should be doing to lobbying the steel company to start making lower cost grade steel that is needed for basic building needs then higher grade steel for cars, truck, railways and other more profitable projects. Yes the North Amercian steel industry is better off then it was 5-10 years ago, yes its smaller but its more profitable then it has been in years now with the industry switching to higher grade products that the Chinese can not compete with. End of the day MTA needs to get best bang for its buck. If this was Canadian, Japanese, Russian, Eastern Europe or Brazilan steal this wouldnt be an issue.

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The article comes out that size when I copy and paste it for whatever reason, so I just left it.

Pulling your leg that's all. That just happenned to me in one of my posts today where the fonts went berserk like THIS

 

(happenned because it was part of a scan from a .pdf) so I did it over and copied and pasted in BBCode mode before submitting.

Edited by realizm

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Again North Amercian steel is a different grade more higher grade that is not made for this type of project, stop complaining that China makes what this project needs. What you should be doing to lobbying the steel company to start making lower cost grade steel that is needed for basic building needs then higher grade steel for cars, truck, railways and other more profitable projects. Yes the North Amercian steel industry is better off then it was 5-10 years ago, yes its smaller but its more profitable then it has been in years now with the industry switching to higher grade products that the Chinese can not compete with. End of the day MTA needs to get best bang for its buck. If this was Canadian, Japanese, Russian, Eastern Europe or Brazilan steal this wouldnt be an issue.

Says who? We need jobs here right now and since this is using U.S. taxpayer dollars, the company doing the work should be American hiring American workers and using American materials so that those funds are redistributed back here in the States.  You have no idea of how economics works because if you did, you would know that the Chinese can offer lower rates because they are purposely undervaluing their currency, which automatically makes their goods look cheaper, even if the quality is suspect, which is the case here.

 

I would like to know if you work for a living because if you do work, I'm sure you would have no problem with your job going overseas since you seem to have no problem with taxpayer dollars being used to support another country's economy and citizens.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Again North Amercian steel is a different grade more higher grade that is not made for this type of project, stop complaining that China makes what this project needs. What you should be doing to lobbying the steel company to start making lower cost grade steel that is needed for basic building needs then higher grade steel for cars, truck, railways and other more profitable projects. Yes the North Amercian steel industry is better off then it was 5-10 years ago, yes its smaller but its more profitable then it has been in years now with the industry switching to higher grade products that the Chinese can not compete with. End of the day MTA needs to get best bang for its buck. If this was Canadian, Japanese, Russian, Eastern Europe or Brazilan steal this wouldnt be an issue.

 

But this does not solve the problem of outsourcing work to other countries while our own economy continues to reel because of the major companies purchasing foriegn made materials!

 

I would like to know if you work for a living because if you do work, I'm sure you would have no problem with your job going overseas since you seem to have no problem with taxpayer dollars being used to support another country's economy and citizens.

 

Bingo.

 

As you stated in the response these practices are destroying opportunities for jobs and ripping us off as taxpayers in the process from the costs of importing and indirectly from the problems concerning nationwide unemployment this also causes. Again what these US companies and agencies are doing is just flat out wrong and screams of corperate and goverment greed. Why do we have to suffer from this? Totally agree.

Edited by realizm

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