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Backlash Over New ‘Buy America’ Rules for Infrastructure Projects

Route Fifty

By Daniel C. Vock

NOVEMBER 21, 2022

State and local transportation agencies are concerned the feds are moving too fast in imposing tighter requirements, complicating a wave of new construction.

The Biden administration is pushing state transportation departments and their contractors to use more U.S.-made materials as they build new infrastructure, but many industry groups worry the federal government is rolling out the changes too quickly.

“AASHTO is still concerned that the quick implementation of Buy America requirements for such a broad range of materials will cause delays in project delivery while states, contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers continue working to determine how best to track and verify these materials,” wrote Roger Millar, Washington state’s secretary of transportation and the president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, in a letter to federal officials.

“Delays and costs will likely increase, at least in the short term, as contractors are forced to shift material purchases to domestic suppliers, who in turn may struggle with availability due to limited quantities and high demand,” he added.

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