Lipinski Posts "Buy American" Victory in Support of Local Manufacturing Jobs (January 4, 2011)

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) announced that his efforts to enforce Defense Department compliance with the Buy American Act have resulted in the re-bidding of a forklift contract that otherwise would have gone to a foreign manufacturer. This will give Bedford Park-based Hoist Liftruck Mfg. Inc. a chance to compete for the business and help keep jobs in the Third District.

“I’m extremely pleased that I was able to help out a Third District manufacturer and prevent American taxpayer dollars from being used to purchase foreign-made products,” Congressman Lipinski said. “This was yet another case where the federal government ignored the Buy American rules on the books, putting American jobs at risk. After a decade of manufacturing job losses, and with 15 million Americans out of work, that’s completely unacceptable.”

The Defense Department’s initial contract award would have resulted in the purchase of three forklifts made by a Korean company, despite the fact that the Buy American Act gives priority to products made in America in such cases. After Hoist Liftruck protested the decision and Congressman Lipinski demanded that existing rules be applied, the Defense Department reviewed its decision, admitted its error, and decided to re-bid the contract.

“As a U.S. manufacturing stalwart, Hoist Liftruck is proud to be the preferred vendor for high-capacity forklifts for a variety of industries,” said Randy Jahn, Director of Business Development for Hoist. “We’re looking forward to competing for this contract again, and we want to thank Congressman Lipinski for his help in making this happen and for his support for local manufacturing and local jobs.”

Congressman Lipinski is a longtime advocate for requiring the federal government to Buy American whenever possible. He has introduced the Buy American Improvement Act, H.R. 4351, to eliminate loopholes in existing Buy American laws. He is also the author of the National Manufacturing Strategy Act, H.R. 4692, which will help revitalize domestic manufacturing, create jobs, and ensure America is able to provide for its own defense without relying on foreign countries. The House passed the bill in July.

“It’s bad enough that our government hasn’t done more to defend American workers from the unfair trade practices of foreign governments,” Congressman Lipinski said. “But for the government to literally fill the pockets of overseas workers with taxpayer money is even worse – especially when we have laws that are designed to prevent it from doing so. I also strongly believe that maintaining a thriving U.S. manufacturing sector is critical to our national security, and that the Defense Department should purchase American-made products whenever possible. That’s why I’m going to continue to defend American manufacturing, fight to strengthen Buy American rules, and work to keep and create jobs right here in the Third District.”

Bedford Park-based Hoist Liftruck began in 1980, when Marty Flaska started buying, selling, and renting material-handling equipment from his house in the western suburbs of Chicago. After a decade of growth, Flaska acquired the rights to build cushion-tire forklifts from Brooklyn-based Silent Hoist and Crane and transformed the company into Hoist Liftruck. With annual sales of approximately $35 million, it has 110 employees.

(January 4, 2011)