Governor Rick Perry has vetoed House Bill 535, also known as the “Buy Texan, Buy American” bill, after its unanimous approval by the Texas House. The bill was also approved by the Senate by a vote of 23 to 7.

The bill would have required state agencies to give preference to products manufactured in the United States if they are of equal cost and value to foreign-made goods.

Perry explained his veto of the bill in a statement on his website:

HB 535 requires state agencies, when purchasing goods, to give preference to goods "manufactured" in Texas. Current law already requires state agencies to give preference to goods produced and grown in Texas. While I support and encourage our agencies to buy goods from Texas businesses, this bill simply does not change current law.

But not everyone sees it that way. Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller feels Perry’s veto indicates that he places the interests of foreign companies over those of American, and specifically Texan, workers. She said in a statement:

Gov. Perry by his veto has undercut the creation and preservation of manufacturing jobs in Texas and the U.S. These jobs are critical to our economic success. Despite the governor’s grandstanding in California and Illinois and his rhetoric about jobs, the veto of HB 535 reveals a painful truth: this Governor won’t stand up for American jobs or Texas workers.
We call on lawmakers to consider using their override power to repeat the patriotic support for home-grown jobs embodied in HB 535. An override would tell the working families of Texas that their interests are more important than those of multi-national corporations that profit from outsourcing, off-shoring and elimination of Texas and American jobs.

The bill still has a chance of becoming law if the Texas House and Senate vote to overturn Perry’s veto. The bill is sponsored by Dallas-area representative Yvonne Davis.