Update on Buy America Program Waivers proposed by the Federal Highway Administration
On October 18, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a notice proposing two nationwide waivers from the Buy America Program. The first would be a permanent waiver for Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) products with steel or iron components. The second would be a one-year waiver for steel tie wire permanently incorporated in precast concrete products. In addition to these two proposed waivers, FHWA announced that it is considering whether to issue a nationwide waiver for specialized lifting devices incorporated in precast concrete products. Click here for the full announcement.
The FHWA sought and accepted comment on the two waivers and the potential waiver. The comment period closed December 2, 2016. Seventy-eight comments were submitted by companies, associations, state DOTs, and individuals. Many comments opposed adoption of the waivers. There were also many comments supporting adoption of the waivers. Comments are here: https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=50&so=DESC&sb=postedDate&po=0&dct=PS&D=FHWA-2016-0028
Buy America Steel Products Association supports maintaining full applicability of Buy America requirements to all steel and steel products used in highway and transportation construction projects in the USA. Our online directory of companies that make Buy America compliant steel and steel products makes it easier for state DOTs and construction contractors to comply with Buy America requirements.
With the comment period closed, FHWA will now decide whether to adopt the proposed waivers. There is no timeline for when a decision will be made. We urge you to check back on this website for updates on this issue, which we are following closely.