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AIADA mobilizing against \'Buy American\' legislation

November 15, 2010

Included in an otherwise benign federal appropriations bill about energy and water is one sentence that has drawn the ire of the American International Automobile Dealers Association:

"None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to purchase passenger motor vehicles other than those manufactured by Ford, General Motors or Chrysler."

The AIADA has mobilized its Legislative Action Network to strike the provision inserted by freshman Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) into House Resolution 3183, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. A companion bill in the Senate does not include the language.

The AIADA is calling on dealers to contact their federal lawmakers about what it calls "protectionist" legislation involving government automotive purchases. The association said dealers should cite three reasons:

1. "Buy America" provisions harm our relationships with other countries and can cause retaliation by our trading partners.

2. The language violates U.S. obligations to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement.

3. The language violates the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which requires free competition and prohibits sole source or brand requirements.

The CATA on Sept. 18 mailed all its members a directory with the addresses and telephone numbers of all state and federal Illinois elected officials. The AIADA supports the Senate version of the legislation.