Quick facts about "Buy America" requirements for Federal-aid highway construction
23 CFR 635.410
- Buy America applies only to the Federal-aid highway construction program.
- Applies to iron and steel products and their coatings. Raw materials were originally included; however, lack of adequate domestic supply resulted in a 1995 nationwide waiver for iron ore, pig iron, reduced/processed/pelletized iron ore, and raw alloys.
- All manufacturing processes must take place domestically. Manufacturing is any process that modifies the chemical content; physical shape or size; or final finish of a product. Manufacturing begins with the initial melting and mixing, and continues through the bending and coating stages. If a domestic product is taken out of the US for any process, it becomes foreign source material.
- Materials must be permanently installed, not temporary. Temporary materials may be left in place at the contractor's convenience.
- Minimal Use Criteria - Non-domestic iron and steel materials may be used provided, the cost of such material does not exceed one-tenth of one percent (0.1 percent) of the total contract cost or $2,500, whichever is greater. For purposes of this paragraph, the cost is that shown to be the value of the steel and iron products as they are delivered to the project.
- Under an alternate bid procedure, foreign source materials may be used if the total project bid using foreign source materials is 25% less than the lowest total bid using domestic materials.
- Project specific waivers may be approved by the Regional Administrator.
- NAFTA does not apply. There is a specific exemption within NAFTA (article 1001) for grant programs such as the Federal-aid highway program. Similarly, the GATT and EEC agreements do not apply.
- Buy America is a separate and distinct program from Buy American. Buy American applies to all federal direct procurements; it covers approximately 100 products and has completely different rules. Requirements are found in 41 U.S.C. 10(a)-10(c).
- In 1994, a nationwide waiver for specific ferryboat parts came into effect.
- State restrictions may include additional products but must allow any US domestic source.
Office of Program Administration