The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by congress on February 13, 2009, and signed into law four days later. The Recovery Act has three major goals; to create and save jobs, to spur economic activity and create a long-term investment in growth, to harness the unprecedented levels of accountability in government spending.
Learn more at www.Recovery.gov
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) represent all five transportation modes including, air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water. The AASHTO, is a body which sets standards and publishes specifications for products used in the design of highways, specifically, the goal is to allow for the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.
Learn more at www.Transportation.org.
Gray iron castings shall be manufactured from iron conforming to ASTM A48, Class 35B, as noted in section 3.1 of AASHTO M306. Ductile iron castings shall conform to ASTM A536. The iron material used in products provided shall have a minimum recycled material content of 75%. The recycled materials shall consist of post-consumer material.
The Municipal Castings Association (MCA) is a non-profit organization with members dedicated to providing the knowledge and resources necessary to manufacturers, specifiers, and users of cast iron infrastructure products to assure that those products meet all laws, regulations, applicable standards, specifications, and quality requirements pertaining to their purchase and use.
Learn more at www.MunicipalCastings.org.
Introduction By law, American-made iron foundry products must be used in all federal transportation projects and state and local government projects that use federal transportation dollars. Products covered by the law include manhole frames and covers, catch basin frames and grates, iron and steel inlet grating, and various miscellaneous iron products.
The Buy America provisions of the law, known as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991, explicitly require that iron castings manufactured in U.S. foundries be used for federal transportation infrastructure projects. Such a provision first appeared in the Surface Transportation Act of 1982. Then, however, the law required that only U.S.-made "steel and manufactured products" could be used in transportation projects funded by the federal government. With the passage of the 1991 legislation, Congress clarified the 1982 legislation by specifically stating that iron products are covered by the Buy America provision. The Department of Transportation's Buy America provision now reads U.S. -made "steel, iron, and manufactured products."
Canadian Products: Note that while the Buy America regulations of certain federal agencies now define Canadian products as domestic (with some restrictions), Canadian products are considered foreign-made under the Buy America regulations of the Departments of Transportation and Energy.
Penalties: Because the Buy America provisions of the 1991 law explicitly require that iron castings manufactured in U.S. foundries be used for federal transportation infrastructure projects, knowing country of origin is particularly important for purchasing officials who procure iron products for such projects.
If a contractor violates the law by using foreign products, the normal remedy is to penalize the contractor by reducing the contract price by an amount equal to the difference between the cost of the foreign material provided and the cost of similar domestic materials. A contractor who falsely certifies that U.S.-made products will be provided may also incur civil penalties under the False Claims Act.
Severe penalties exist for a government contractor or subcontractor who deceptively affixes a "Made in the USA" label or intentionally misrepresents the country of origin of a product to be used in a federal highway project. These penalties include placement on the "List of Parties Excluded from Procurement Program" that is circulated to all federal agencies. Moreover, the offending party may be subject to further civil and criminal penalties of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for one year per violation.
A construction contractor who fails to comply with the Buy America provisions will be prohibited from receiving any further construction contracts from any federal government agency for a three- year period. The three-year ban also applies to subcontractors or suppliers associated with the contractor.
The Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by President Roosevelt. The act required the United States Government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases. Other pieces of extend similar requirement to third-party purchases that utilize Federal funds, such as highway and transit programs.
The Buy American Act applies to all U.S. federal government agency purchases of goods valued over the micro purchase threshold, but does not apply to services. Under the Act, all goods for public use (articles, materials, or supplies) must be produced in the U.S., and manufactured items must be manufactured in the U.S. from U.S. materials. Many states and municipalities include similar geographic production requirements in their procurement.