ANNOUNCEMENT 30 Jun 2015In June 2015, the government of the United States of America announced a change in the local input requirements for the participation in certain public purchases.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
In a Federal Register notice published on June 30, 2015 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation made a finding that a public interest waiver of the Buy America requirements is appropriate for any manufactured product whose purchase price is $5,000 or less, excluding a motor vehicle, when such product is purchased using Federal grant funds, and requested comments on the matter. The effective date of this waiver is July 30, 2015.
Existing law generally provides that this agency 'shall not obligate any funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 ... unless steel, iron, and manufactured products used in such project are produced in the United States.' The Secretary of Transportation has delegated the authority to administer Buy America for NHTSA programs to the Administrator of NHTSA, and the Buy American laws provide at 23 U.S.C. 313(b) that NHTSA may waive those requirements if '(1) their application would be inconsistent with the public interest; (2) such materials and products are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or (3) the inclusion of domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project contract by more than 25 percent.'
NHTSA stated that it had 'determined that it is appropriate to issue a public interest waiver for small, routine purchases by States under the highway safety grant programs,' being 'mindful of the overarching purposes of Buy America, while evaluating all relevant facts, including administrative burden, delay and impact on the congressionally authorized State grant programs.'
A wide range of steel-containing products may be affected by this provision. The countries identified here as affected by this measure are the top twenty providers of iron and steel to the United States.