DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado lawmakers are split on a bill which would encourage businesses to buy products made in America.

Democratic Sen. Joyce Foster sponsored the bill that would give companies bidding on state projects a 1 percent preference if they use American-made equipment.

Foster says the bill is about making it easier to find products made in America.

One local company supporting the bill is “Ice-O-Matic.”

“They employ over 200 people,” Foster said, “and they said that this will actually give them an even playing field.”

Republican Sen. Tim Nelville argues the $200,000 price tag is too high.

“In deference to Sen. Foster, I do believe her heart’s in the right place but I believe the math in this is in the wrong place,” Nelville said.

He also believes it will send a message of protectionism to foreign companies.

“I think companies would just look at this basically and say, ‘Is this what Colorado is about? Preferences for U.S. companies?'” Nelville said.

Republican lawmakers say Canadian officials have already contacted them saying that government opposes the bill.

Foster disagrees and says other states already offer preference.

The bill has another vote in the Senate which it is likely to pass in the Democratically-controlled chamber. It faces a tougher battle in the Republican-controlled House.


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