New Jersey

Christie Vetoes ‘Made in America' Bills in New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a series of bills that would have required state and bistate entities to buy American-made products when spending public money.

In veto messages released Thursday, the Republican governor said he believes in supporting American companies but the measures would have constrained purchasing decisions and driven up costs.

"Rather than helping Americans, these bills will simply drive up the price of doing business, and threaten job creation," he wrote.

Current state law already requires sourcing from American suppliers whenever practical, he said.

The legislation, which also would have applied to entities including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Delaware River Port Authority, had the support of major unions and Senate President Steve Sweeney. But it was opposed by many Republicans lawmakers and members of the business community.

"This is a lost opportunity to help create jobs and to support domestic businesses," Sweeney said in a statement. "The 'Made In America' bills are more than an expression of economic patriotism, they could have been an effective way of boosting the state's economy."

The veto comes the same day Christie met with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice of Canada.

Christie, a potential 2016 presidential contender, also used the opportunity to voice his opposition to what he called the "temptation to retreat to isolationism."

"Building economic walls around our State, or our Nation, will not improve the lives of our citizens," he wrote.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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