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Cuomo promotes "Buy American" in his fifth State of the State

ALBANY – New York should should join the “Buy American” campaign already embraced by organized labor and President-elect Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.

In Syracuse this morning for his fifth State of the State speech this week, Cuomo said he will advance a plan to require state agencies give a preference to American-made products and goods in contract awards over $100,000.

“I also believe New Yorkers understand the value of investing in American-made products,’’ Cuomo told an audience at a Syracuse civic center.

Jeff Klein, leader of the Senate Independent Democratic Conference, last week told The Buffalo News he would make “Buy American” a priority in the 2017 session of the Senate.

Trump scored points with some manufacturing workers in his presidential run by vowing to re-do some trade deals and promoting a “Made in USA” effort.

The state AFL-CIO has also pushed for measures it says will help the state’s declining manufacturing sector.

“With Buy American, we will be creating good manufacturing jobs and strengthening local economies, including right here at home in New York,’’ Mario Cilento, the union president, said in a statement this morning supporting Cuomo’s plan.

Cuomo has so far given five – out of six – State of the State speeches, including three in downstate, Buffalo and today’s address in Syracuse. Amid growing tensions with Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature, Cuomo is breaking with a century-old tradition of giving his State of the State before a joint session of the Senate and Assembly. His final speech will be in Albany later this afternoon.

Cuomo peppered his Syracuse speech with local projects to be funded by state taxpayers. They included $36 million towards refurbishment of Syracuse’s airport and the re-location of Saab’s defense and security U.S. headquarters to the region.

Cuomo also proposed lifting a state cap – now at 10 – on hemp farming operations in New York. He believes the idea will especially benefit the Southern Tier.

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