AGC Testifies on Buy America

AGC member Ty Edmondson, CEO of T.A. Loving Company, testifies before Congress on the need to improve implementation of new Buy America requirements.

On February 15, Ty Edmondson, CEO of T.A. Loving Company testified on behalf of AGC before the House Subcommittee on Highway and Transit regarding the implementation process of new Buy America requirements. Ty has been an active member of AGC and currently serves as the Utility Infrastructure Division Chair.

Ty highlighted in his testimony how implementation of the new Buy America requirements, included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has created uncertainty for contractors and called for a more efficient, timely, and transparent Buy America Waiver process. Specifically, he noted that the confusion and lengthy process can cause:

  • Project delays;
  • Project owners and designers substituting materials with domestically available alternatives;
  • Project owners redesigning projects to be Buy America compliant; or
  • Contractors choosing not to bid on a project altogether.

In addition to discussing the waiver process, Edmondson highlighted the need for an adequate phase-in period with implementation requirements. For example, he explained that the industry needs time to adjust supply chains, train workers, and adjust administrative procedures to be able to meet new requirements. He also went on to stress the importance of “depoliticizing” the Buy America waiver process to ensure projects that need a waiver can move forward and construction jobs are not jeopardized due to political pressure. Finally, he mentioned the importance of FHWA’s Manufactured Products Waiver and that any change to it needs to be based on market research, availability, and manufacturer capacity.

Members of the committee also heard from Carlos Braceras, Executive Director of Utah State Department of Transportation (on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), Dan Needham, Executive Vice President of Nucor Corporation, Megan Salrin, Legislative Representative for United Steelworkers and Brian Enders, Vice President for Walbec Group (on behalf of the National Asphalt Pavement Association).

AGC of America thanks Ty for a job well done. The association strives to ensure that his testimony translates into deliverable action for the industry.

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