The Build America Buy America Act, developed in November 2021, defined a domestic content procurement preference for all federally funded infrastructure projects developed after May 14, 2022. Will Build America Buy America negatively impact the construction industry? Maybe, but the positive outcomes should eventually outweigh the challenges.
Companies working on infrastructure projects appealed to lawmakers…for a waiver extension for the Buy America Build America provision of the bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year. The Buy America rule required that all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in infrastructure projects funded through the legislation be made in the U.S. after May 14, 2022, unless the company working on the project had a waiver. –The Hill, Nov. 30, 2022
All waivers will expire in January 2023.
Though well-intended, premature enforcement could have negative consequences, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. And one major manufacturing contractor said the wording of the provision was ambiguous. It was “unclear” which items specifically are U.S. vs. imported construction industry and/or manufactured products.
Buy America requires iron, steel, construction materials, and manufactured products be made in the U.S.
Construction Dive says all federally funded construction industry projects will feel the impact, not only IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) funding recipients. And depending on the funding source – federal or not – the requirements can apply to an entire infrastructure project.
Guidelines for Build America Buy America implementation continue to be fine-tuned by the Biden administration. As of December 2022, the cost of the components of the manufactured product that are mined, produced, or manufactured in the U.S. must be greater than 55% of the total cost of all components of the manufactured product, according to research by Construction Dive.
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