Murphy urges Trump to fix “Buy American” laws

Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) speaks with workers at Platt Brothers in Waterbury (WTNH / Stephanie Simoni)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Making sure things are made in Connecticut is the goal of Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) who plans to tour the state touting some “Made in America” laws.

He’s pushing President Donald Trump to put his executive power where his mouth is and offered different executive actions he believes will help American companies.

There are 5,000 manufacturers in Connecticut and 1 of them is Flo-tech in Middletown.

“We have to keep up,” said Leo Bonetti who is the CEO and founder of Flo-Tech. “It’s very difficult because of the cost, the cost of labor, the utilities.”

They’ve been re-manufacturing toner cartridges for more than 20 years. It hasn’t always been easy.

Bonetti joined Murphy and other owners of local manufacturing companies at breakfast this morning. Murphy explained a letter he wrote to President Donald Trump that outlined five executive actions he wants the President to enact. It includes enforcing laws already on the books like making sure federal agencies are buying from American companies.

“A lot of times they’re not checking thoroughly to see if a product was made in the United States and is available in the United States before they buy it overseas,” said Murphy.

He says going overseas does not always save money.

Even if the price of the good is 5 or 10 percent cheaper. When you lose the job in the United States, the government loses all that tax revenue. All of a sudden you have to start paying unemployment compensating to the people that are laid off.”

In addition to the executive actions, Murphy says he’s written up two pieces of legislation to help American companies. One, is called the 21st Century Buy American Act. The other, the American Jobs Matter Act.

Manufacturing jobs make up for about 10% of the state’s jobs and 96% of thee stat’s total exports.

Bonetti says the feds spend about $1 billion per year on toner cartridges and if he got a slice of that business, he could make more money, and bring more jobs to Middletown.

“We’re the only one left in the United States still rem-anufacturing toner cartridges,” said Bonetti.

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