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Manufacturing Group Protests Chinese Steel Used in Bay Bridge Construction

OAKLAND (KCBS) — A group called the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is criticizing the use of steel from China on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

In a new campaign dubbed, "Should Be Made in America" the group has set up billboards along Interstate 880 that depict the Chinese flag with the words "The Bay Bridge 100% Foreign Steel."

AAM Executive Director Scott Paul said not using American steel for the project cost local jobs.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

"Those jobs could have been right in the United States and could have been done here at a reasonable cost to taxpayer and also with the creation of about 2,500 manufacturing jobs," Paul said.

Bay Bridge spokesperson Bart Ney disputed the accuracy of Paul's claims and said 70 percent of the steel being used for the new span is fabricated in America. Ney said foreign companies are used out of necessity for some parts of the project.

"The primary contractor chose China to deliver those parts because the capacity is not here in the United States right now. There was no American fabricator that would build those specific parts of the bridge," Ney explained.

The billboards at the Bay Bridge approach in Oakland will remain up for at least two months.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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