Congressman Steve Israel (NY-03) introduced two bills aimed at increasing American manufacturing and creating jobs in New York. The "American Parks American Products Act" would require the National Park Service to only sell merchandise that is made in the United States, and the "Bring the Jobs Home Loan Act" would authorize Small Business Administration (SBA) loans that would assist businesses that want to re-shore manufacturing jobs.
"We need to do more to encourage American companies to move the production of their goods back to U.S. soil," said Congressman Israel. "If we want American manufacturing to thrive again, then we need to show that we believe in the significance of the "Made in the USA' label. That is why I am introducing two bills that will require our National Parks to exclusively sell merchandise produced in America, and provide loans through the Small Business Administration to firms that want to bring manufacturing jobs back from overseas."
The "American Parks, American Products Act" instructs the Secretary of the Interior and the Archivist of the United States to ensure that the items offered for sale in gift ships or visitor centers within the National Park System or the National Archives and Records Administration are produced in the United States. The bill would work to reverse the fact that a large number of items sold at our National Parks and monuments are currently being produced abroad -- many in China. In 2015, the U.S. trade deficit with China was at a record high with a $367 billion gap between what the U.S. imports versus exports from China. And, according to the National Parks Service, 16.6 percent of their $1.3 billion in gross receipts is from merchandise retail sold in its parks. That's nearly $216 million spent annually on gifts like t-shirts, calendars and post cards.
The "Bring the Jobs Home Loan Act" would authorize the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer loans to help manufacturers bring production back to the United States for products that they are currently manufacturing overseas. To allow for greater flexibility, the bill would give discretion over the grant program and the amount of the loans to the SBA Administrator. Within two years of receiving a loan, manufacturers would be required to report back to the SBA what facility or equipment changes have been made and which products are being produced in the United States that had previously been produced abroad.
Increasing the sale of American-made goods will further grow our local economies, with every dollar in final sales of American- manufactured products, $1.81 in economic activity is generated in other sectors of the economy-- the largest economic multiplier of any sector.