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August 6, 1998 

Walsh hails veto of protectionist legislation

A bill designed to give New York firms an advantage in bidding for some in-state jobs would have done more harm than good, and Governor Pataki was right to veto it, said Daniel B. Walsh, president of The Business Council.

"Preference laws such as the bill vetoed by Governor Pataki are appealing to many, including some in the business community, because they seem to promise a better future for manufacturers and other employers based in New York," Walsh said.

"The reality is that such proposals, including the well-intentioned measure passed by the Legislature this year, would very likely end up doing more harm than good," he added.

New York firms do business globally, not just in New York, with exports exceeding $50 billion a year and almost 400,000 jobs dependent on manufacturing exports, Walsh noted

"The moment New York State companies receive preference such as that contemplated by the proposed legislation, reciprocity from more than 30 other states may go into effect, thus removing our companies from those other states' bidding lists," Walsh said.

"The best way to promote New York products in other states is to continue making New York more competitive as a place to do business," he said. "That means continuing to reduce taxes, cut the cost of workers' compensation and other employee benefits, and reduce our energy and other costs."

The bill would have allowed local governments to accept bids from New York State companies if the bids were within 5 percent of the lowest bid.