Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Keystone Heights, Fla, — Gavin Rollins, Clay County commissioner and Republican candidate for Florida’s third congressional district, yesterday proposed a policy requiring Clay County to prioritize American products over foreign imports. A similar proposal was introduced last week by Jacksonville City Councilman Rory Diamond. Rollins is joined by Commissioners Justin Taylor of Nassau County and Jeremiah Blocker from St. Johns County, who have also declared their support for this policy.
“Clay County’s annual budget is over $300 million,” said Rollins “Cumulatively, local governments in the U.S. spend $2 trillion a year. It defies logic that we would be spending these hard-earned taxpayer dollars overseas, especially on products made in communist China, when we can invest right here at home.”
The “Buy American” policy requires that U.S.-made products which are within 5 percent of the price of products purchased outside of the country be given preference by local governments. At least six other Florida counties are considering similar legislation.
“Buying American products will help restart the U.S. economy, which has been devastated by COVID-19,” said Rollins.
Rollins also plans to introduce a policy to extend the federal ban on Chinese telecommunications companies to Clay County’s purchases.
“Communist China is the greatest threat to world freedom since the Soviet Union,” he said. “Chinese companies build equipment that allows it to tap into telecommunications networks across the country. We’re pushing back and saying we won’t allow this intrusion in our technology at the local level.”
In addition to his role as Clay County commissioner, Rollins is a high school history teacher, and captain in the Florida National Guard. As an intelligence officer Rollins was deployed to a combat zone in the Horn of Africa 2016 through 2017. One of his responsibilities was to monitor the Chinese Communist threat in the region. He is running to replace the retiring Congressman Ted Yoho.