Canadian Water and Wastewater Association eBulletin
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April 30, 2014

Unions, others seek expansion of Buy American requirements

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Buy American requirements continue to be an ongoing battle as Congress begins to take up appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2015. Some unions and industry groups are calling upon Congress to extend and expand Buy American requirements for projects receiving funds from State Revolving Fund programs, while other groups representing workers at U.S. ports are voicing resistance.

In recent years, Congress has included Buy American requirements for iron and steel products through the SRF appropriations process and some earlier versions of Buy American language have included "manufactured goods," as well. Now, some groups want Buy American requirements inserted in all federal infrastructure support programs, and want those requirements expanded to again include manufactured goods.

The complexity of administering Buy American provisions, particularly the process for obtaining waivers, was a major obstacle to smooth administration of the Stimulus Bill in 2009. In March, EPA issued guidance for complying with Buy American rules for 2014, and legislation now under discussion in a House-Senate conference committee contains the broader version of Buy American rules for projects funded by AWWA’s proposed Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority. We will continue monitoring this difficult issue and will offer updates as more information becomes available.  


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