WASHINGTON, DC, September 5, 2019 – The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) sent a letter to Congress today urging Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to preserve existing language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would bar taxpayer funds from being used to purchase railcars from the Chinese Government during the conferee negotiations for the bill. The original legislation, known as the “Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act,” was previously introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in the Senate and Representative Harley Rouda (D-CA) in the House.
“This bill will help restore a level playing field, allowing this industry to continue to thrive in the United States while enhancing our national security,” wrote RSI President Mike O’Malley. “There are thousands of people employed by domestic passenger rail manufacturers, but we are seeing unfair competition from Chinese state-owned enterprises threaten those jobs while undermining our national security in the process.”
The largest passenger railcar builders in the United States are all foreign-owned companies, but unlike the Chinese state-owned company CRRC they do the vast majority of their manufacturing and sourcing domestically, often significantly exceeding federal Buy America requirements in the process. “We want folks to understand the stark differences between manufacturing and mere assembly operations and how that difference impacts local communities and jobs around the country,” said O’Malley.
Yesterday, the White House also announced its support for the legislation in a letter to the Armed Services Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members, noting it that it was “critical” to the Nation’s economic and national security. “RSI has long made this issue a priority for our organization and we are very encouraged by the Administration’s support,” said O’Malley.
The railway supply industry in the United States directly supports over 125,000 jobs in the United States and contributes an estimated $74.2 billion in GDP each year. States where rail suppliers deliver more than $1 billion in economic value on an annual basis include Texas, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.
About the Railway Supply Institute (RSI)
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is a trade association representing more than 200 companies involved in the manufacture of products and services in the freight car, tank car, locomotive, maintenance-of-way, communications and signaling, and passenger rail industries. RSI connects members to their customers and partners, supports the improvement of the industry, assists members in the global marketplace, and represents the industry during the regulatory and legislative process. For more information visit www.rsiweb.org, follow RSI on Twitter and join the RSI LinkedIn group.