The White House recently released the final guidance for the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) provisions of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
According to the White House, BABA requires all iron, steel, manufactured products and construction materials used on federal infrastructure projects to be produced in the U.S.
Officials say the final guidance supports the “implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s statutory requirements that manufactured products, construction materials, and iron and steel used in federally funded infrastructure projects are made in America. It also sets forth these standards for construction materials while serving as a guide to agencies in using taxpayer dollars to strengthen our economy by supporting the creation of good jobs in both construction and manufacturing by expanding domestic production through infrastructure investment.”
BABA calls for products used on federal infrastructure projects to be manufactured in the U.S., with 55% of the cost of its components fabricated domestically.
The final guidance considers construction materials to be:
- Non-ferrous metals;
- Plastic and polymer-based products (including polyvinylchloride, composite building materials, and polymers used in fiber optic cables);
- Glass (including optic glass);
- Fiber optic cable (including drop cable);
- Optical fiber;
- Engineered wood; and
Waivers can be obtained if applying the Buy America Preference would be inconsistent with the public interest (a “public interest waiver”); types of iron, steel, manufactured products or construction materials are not produced in the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or of a satisfactory quality (a “nonavailability waiver”); or the inclusion of iron, steel, manufactured products or construction materials produced in the U.S. will increase the cost of the overall infrastructure project by more than 25% (an “unreasonable cost waiver”).