AGA and several national trade associations submitted a joint letter to the Secretary of Transportation requesting that he review the implementation of the amended Buy America Act. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have begun applying Buy America requirements to materials used as part of utility relocation agreements. These actions have the potential to create substantial delays and increased costs for transportation projects across the country with attendant adverse effects on jobs and the economy.
Since utilities and the companies that make the materials used in utility relocation have not been subject to Buy America historically, the trades believe that a transition period is needed. During this transition period, the process of compliance for utility relocation can be clarified, waivers can be issued where appropriate, and education and training of affected industries can occur. Most importantly, transportation projects can move forward. During this transition period we believe utility relocations should not be subject to Buy America requirements. The FHWA and FTA have stated that the Act covers utility relocation projects. They may consider providing relief because of the smaller scale and unique natural of utility relocations as compared the large transportation projects that were the focus of the Buy America Act.