Buy American Requirements for Public Infrastructure Projects
Over a year ago Congress enacted the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA). This act changes the way many companies must source supplies for federally-funded projects.
According to JD Supra, BABA differs from the “Buy American” requirements that apply to federal construction projects, i.e. construction contracts entered into with, and administered by, the federal government, and subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Federal construction projects have long been subject to requirements to purchase materials domestically or from sources or designated US trade partners. In contrast, public infrastructure projects administered by state and local governments with federal funding are not subject to those requirements (though some have been subject to different requirements, discussed below). While many government contractors are familiar with the FAR Buy American requirements, BABA could be a significant new compliance burden for companies that do not generally contract or subcontract with the federal government, but which may work on federally-funded state and local infrastructure projects.