ANNOUNCEMENT 16 May 2013In May 2013, the government of the United States of America announced a change in the local input requirements for the participation in certain public purchases.
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Governor Martin O'Malley of the state of Maryland signed into law on May 16, 2013 a 'Buy American' bill that will take effect on October 1, 2013. The 'Purchase of American Manufactured Goods" bill (Senate Bill 47/House Bill 191) institutes a government-procurement preference for US manufactured goods. More precisely, it states that, unless the standards for certain exemptions are met, a public body shall require a contractor or subcontractor to use or supply American manufactured goods in the performance of a contract for: (1) constructing or maintaining a public work; or (2) buying or manufacturing machinery or equipment that is to be installed at a public work site.
The new law creates a preference for American manufactured goods in Maryland state contracting by compelling public bodies of the state to require contractors and subcontractors to use or supply American manufactured goods when performing a contract either to build or maintain a public work or to buy or manufacture machinery or equipment to be installed at a public work site. The law allows for exceptions, such as for 'emergency life safety and property safety goods' as defined in the bill.
The bill provides for certain exceptions. The requirements may be waived if a public agency determines that: (1) the price discrepancy between an American manufactured good and a similar foreign manufactured good is unreasonably high; (2) the American manufactured good is not available in sufficient quantities; (3) the quality of the American manufactured good is substantially less than the foreign manufactured good; or (4) the procurement of the American manufactured good is inconsistent with the public interest.
Some state offices, such as the state higher-education facilities, are exempt from the law.