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Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis told union plumbers and pipefitters in Wichita Thursday that the state should favor Kansas companies that hire Kansas workers when awarding government contracts.
"Our tax dollars should not be used to award foreign companies or American companies that have moved their operations, their investment dollars and their jobs outside of the United States," Davis said.
The Topeka Democrat said his party is adding a "Buy American" plank to its state platform as a way to stimulate employment. He quoted from a 2009 report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing that suggested that the state has lost 17,000 jobs to China in the past decade.
House Assistant Minority Leader Tom Burroughs said the plank affects contracts for goods and services.
"It is premised on the simple notion...we should be using our taxpayer dollars to contract for services performed by companies that hire Kansas workers first," Burroughs said.
Davis said the AAM report found that maximizing in investment in American-made products can increase manufacturing employment by 33 percent.