Pipeline Industry Walks Tightrope re Made in America Pipes

Soon after President Trump was inaugurated, some of the first Executive Orders he signed dealt with the Dakota Access Pipeline (now completed, thank God), and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Trump also signed a “Presidential Memorandum”–similar to, but not the same as, an Executive Order. On Jan. 24, President Trump signed the “Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines,” which instructs the Dept. of Commerce to ensure the pipelines used for new projects, and for major repairs, are Made in America–from the smelting stage through the final fabrication stage. That order has had the midstream industry squirming, quite frankly. Why? Because so much of the pipelines we now use are foreign made. While the goal of 100% American made pipeline is laudable (and something we support), the fact is, our domestic industries are not currently set up to produce all of the pipeline we need. So until our own domestic industries are capable, the midstream sector will have to continue relying on “global sourcing” for at least some pipeline materials. That was the message conveyed by five trade associations representing the industry in comments jointly filed with the Dept. of Commerce last Friday. The industry is walking a tightrope. On one hand they want to support Trump’s efforts to use American manufacturing of pipes, on the other, they want to be able to finish projects under way or planned to begin soon…

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