HUD Delays New Buy America Requirements

With new Buy America requirements set for inclusion in federally funded contracts awarded on or after May 14, HUD joins USDOT in delaying those requirements for six months.

On May 3, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it will delay inclusion of expanded Buy America requirements to construction materials on new contract awards for six months. These new requirements were included as a part of the $1.2T Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in a provision entitled the “Build America, Buy America Act” (BABA) and are set to take effect on all federally funded construction contracts awarded on or after May 14, 2022. HUD’s general waiver is set to take effect on May 14, meaning the BABA requirements will not be included in new construction contracts within the agency’s purview until at least November. AGC applauds HUD’s proposal for a general waiver of these new requirements to gather information on proper implementation.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a similar temporary waiver to take effect at the same time and AGC of America urges other federal agencies to consider doing so as well to review how they will properly implement the requirements without causing unnecessary supply chain and material shortage issues. Both HUD and DOT are accepting comments on the proposed waivers and AGC will be submitting letters to applaud their efforts to incentivize the growth of domestic manufacturing capacity without delaying efforts to improve and expand America’s infrastructure. AGC expects that defined and consistent guidance may take longer than six months to develop and the association supports an extension of the waivers if needed.

For more background information, the expansion of this domestic preference to “construction materials” includes, but is not limited to:

  • non-ferrous metals;
  • plastic and polymer-based products (including polyvinylchloride, composite building materials, and polymers used in fiber optic cables);
  • glass (including optic glass);
  • lumber

The Office of Management and Budget is requesting feedback on the definition of “construction materials,” as the guidance released previously by the OMB, and effective May 14 for most federal agencies, set preliminary standards for the definition of “construction materials,” which are still subject to change. AGC will be providing feedback to the OMB to ensure that future federal projects can carry on without any undue burdens on current supply chains and material shortages that are impacting the whole industry.

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