Senate Includes Buy American Requirement in Water Resources Development Act of 2013: Provision Would Mandate Use of American Iron, Steel, and Manufactured Goods in Certain Water Resources Projects


The United States Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 by an overwhelming 83-14 margin on May 15, 2013. The legislation included an amendment sponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), that would extend Buy American provisions to certain water infrastructure projects to be known as Innovative Financing Pilot Projects. The Senate bill would authorize $50,000,000 in funding for the program for each fiscal year from 2014-2018.

WIFIA Buy American Provisions Contained in Senate-Passed Bill -

Under the legislation approved by the Senate, recipients of federal loans and loan guarantees under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) for eligible construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair projects must use U.S.-produced iron, steel, and manufactured goods. The legislation contains an exception to the Buy American requirement in situations where the Secretary of the Army finds that (1) adhering to the requirement would be inconsistent with the public interest, (2) the iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured goods are not made in the United States in sufficient quantities or are not of satisfactory quality, or where (3) complying with the rule would increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent. The Senate bill would also mandate that the Secretary of the Army publish “a detailed written justification as to why” for projects where the Buy American provisions are waived...

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