US transport agency waives certain domestic procurement requirements

The US Department of Transportation has issued a waiver to the domestic preference guidelines outlined by the Build America Buy America law, which may be applied to steel and iron construction material inputs.

The department indicates that this decision was made in favour of the public’s interest, and to help clarify the requirements necessary to qualify for federal funding allocated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Steel products, along with other manufactured construction materials, utilised in federal infrastructure projects may qualify for a waiver if the total value of the non-compliant product (i.e. steel) is less than $1 million, or 5% of total applicable costs for the project. Additionally, Kallanish understands that waivers may be issued for construction materials if the total financial assistance being provided for the project is below $500,000.

According to the department, the issuance of a waiver for low-cost materials and/or smaller grants helps maximise the amount of domestic content being utilised in federally funded construction projects. The agency argues that the low-cost waiver allows for recipients to more efficiently allocate the limited resources being granted, and that the small grant waiver allows for a focus on higher-value projects that will make a more significant impact on the domestic economy.

Zach Johnson USA