Buy America Requirements are Hindering Efforts to Improve Infrastructure

The Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) requires that only U.S. made iron, steel, construction materials, and manufactured products in federally funded infrastructure projects are used. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that this mandate be waived for 180 days.

According to CATO Institute, a letter from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, for example, states that it anticipates the Federal Highway Administration “will need at least 12 months to work with state DOTs to solicit comments and address definitions, processes, and certifications necessary” to meet the requirements while the group estimates “the construction industry and supply chain will need at least 24 months to establish additional sources for the mass production of domestic manufactured products and construction materials.” The American Public Transportation Association, meanwhile, called for a four‐​year waiver to provide sufficient time to adopt new rules and processes.

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