Buy America Nationwide Waiver Notification for Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Products with Steel or Iron Components and for Steel Tie Wire Permanently Incorporated in Precast Concrete Products
AGA submitted comments to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on two nationwide waivers that the agency is proposing for steel and iron components used in highway, transit and any ancillary utility relocation projects. Since 2013, any Utility Relocation that an operator is required to undertake as a result of a highway or transit project must comply with the Buy America Act requirements requiring that US-made steel or iron components (greater that 90% in composition) be used in the project, in addition to providing documentation to prove US origin of manufacture.
FHWA is proposing a category of products to be exempt from the Buy America Act requirements titled Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS). AGA’s is requesting that ‘utility-specific’ steel and iron components be considered as COTS so as to reduce administrative and cost burden on operators for products that may not be available to purchase in the United States such as Valves, or smaller steel and iron components that may be difficult or impossible to trace to the origin such as nuts, bolts, fittings etc. Many of AGA’s concerns also reflect those of the electric industry.