THE LATEST: The Biden administration may finalize rules and hastily implement expanded Buy America requirements on federally assisted construction projects with little consideration for ongoing supply chain woes, existing domestic manufacturing capacity, or a realistic plan to expand that capacity over time.
Tell the Biden administration how these rules will impact your projects and workforce.
WHY IT MATTERS: Contractors continue to struggle with significant delays or nonavailability of construction materials or products—placing tremendous strain on field workers managing project schedule and costs. If finalized, these rules could:
- Require contractors to rip out and replace at their cost non-compliant materials on ongoing projects;
- Push small businesses—including women-owned, minority-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises—out of the market because of a lack of resources to track and legally certify source-specific items, or an inability to secure agreements with domestic suppliers or manufacturers; and
- Further delay projects because of the need for additional time for estimator investigation and research, complete project redesign, project rescope, or government/engineer estimate rewrites.
Among the proposed changes, the administration is exploring expanding Buy America requirements on:
- Cement, aggregates, and their binding agents
- Coatings (e.g., paints and stains), bricks, and engineered wood products
- Non-ferrous metals (non-iron metals, including but not limited to aluminum, copper, and alloys)
- Plastic and polymer-based products (including but not limited to PVC, composite building materials, and polymers used in fiber optic cables)
- Glass (including but not limited to fiber optic glass), lumber, drywall, and more
THE DETAILS: To be Buy America compliant, all manufacturing processes for construction materials must take place in the U.S. If such materials are not available, the White House must approve a waiver for use of non-domestically produced items on federal-aid construction projects. Read more about the proposed major changes to Buy America requirements for more information.
ACT NOW: Tell the Biden administration how it should apply these new proposed rules using a prewritten message or add your own personal message on which construction materials will face significant challenges in complying with new requirements or shortages that are impacting your projects and bids.