DOT Pauses ‘Buy America’ Provision to Provide Relief to Already Strained Industry

Challenges in sourcing American construction materials, coupled with continued supply-chain issues and industry concerns, have pushed the DOT to temporarily suspend President Biden’s Build America, Buy America (BABA) requirements. During the program’s pause, contractors can research domestic construction material sources and stockpile supplies for federally funded transportation construction projects. The DOT concluded that avoiding the disruption to civil infrastructure (particularly transportation and transit) projects constitutes a rare and appropriate use of the agency’s authority, said John Smolen and Steve Park, Ballard Sphar law firm. The association was happy when in May the DOT proposed slowing rollout of the Buy America requirements to allow for development of enforcement and compliance guidance. Suspension of provisions was intended to “provide for strengthened enforcement over time,” according to the DOT.

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