Public agencies are routinely facing Buy America requirements in their infrastructure projects. Some of the most difficult situations involve how to satisfy Buy America obligations with public utility relocations. The rules continue to evolve, making compliance an ever-moving target. To help provide some guidance, my colleague, Ann-Therese Schmid, recently provided a Buy America update on Nossaman’s InfraInsight Blog.
In her blog post, Recent Buy America Developments, Ann informs us that in late 2015 the Federal Transmit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have had changes imposed on their Buy America Procedures. The FTA experienced changes through Congress’ adoption of the FAST Act, and FHWA experienced changes through a recent court decision.
The FAST Act clarified the small purchase threshold, imposed requirements on the Secretary of the Department of Transportation in denying Buy America waivers, and changes some of the thresholds and requirements of domestic content.
The recent court decision clarified two broad Buy America interest waivers for steel and iron products and resulted in the FHWA rescinding a prior memorandum on the subject.