United States of America: Buy-American provisions in water projects bill

Measure #13104 | Published 15 Dec 2016 ▲


In December 2016 President Obama signed into law the “Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act” or “WIIN Act” (esignated as S.612), which includes two provisions related to the Buy American policy.
The more substantive of the provisions is section 2114, which generally requires the use of U.S. iron and steel in certain water projects. More precisely, the section amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12(a)) to provide that,
“During fiscal year 2017, funds made available from a State loan fund established pursuant to this section may not be used for a project for the construction, alteration, or repair of a public water system unless all of the iron and steel products used in the project are produced in the United States.”
It defines “iron and steel products” to include lined or unlined pipes and fittings, manhole covers and other municipal castings, hydrants, tanks, flanges, pipe clamps and restraints, valves, structural steel, reinforced precast concrete, and construction materials.
It also provides for waivers when found that enforcing this requirement “would be inconsistent with the public interest,” “iron and steel products are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality,” or “inclusion of iron and steel products produced in the United States will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent.”
It also requires that the provisions “be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements.” Section 1137 requires the preparation of a “report on the amount of acquisitions in the prior fiscal year made by the Corps of Engineers for civil works projects from entities that manufactured the articles, materials, or supplies outside of the United States.”
The report must indicate “the dollar value of articles, materials, and supplies purchased that were manufactured outside of the United States” and “a summary of the total procurement funds spent on goods manufactured in the United States and the total procurement funds spent on goods manufactured outside of the United States.” This report is to be made “publicly available, including on the Internet.”

Any Evidence-Based Deliberation:

Question Result
Is there anything in the public record to suggest that evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed measure was considered during official deliberations?
Is there any evidence that alternatives to the proposed measure were considered?
Is there anything in the public record that suggests that empirical evidence informed the comparison across the alternatives available to government?
Was such evidence identified?
Is such evidence publicly available?
Did the official decision-maker in question provide an explanation as to why a chosen measure was favoured over alternatives?
Is there any evidence to suggest that potentially affected trading partners were consulted before the measures were taken?
Is there any evidence that safeguards have been put in place to ensure that implementation of the initiative is transparent and non-discriminatory?
Did the government state its intention to review the measure within one year of implementation?

Implementing Jurisdiction:

Affected Trading Partners:

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Measure type:

Affected Sectors:

Affected Tariff Lines:

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Date Discovered:

Implemented: Yes

Date of inception: 1 Jan 2017

GTA Evaluation: Red

Government Response:

Glossary of trade terms