OMB Releases Initial Implementation Guidance on Buy America for Infrastructure Investments

Source: RL Martin

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a memorandum that provides implementation guidance, effective May 14, 2022, to federal agencies on the application of “Buy America” preferences to federal infrastructure financial assistance programs as well as the waiver process.

Key aspects of the guidance include:

  • The incorporation of Buy America preferences in the terms and conditions of each federal award for an infrastructure project, including that all iron and steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in the project by produced or manufactured in the United States;
  • The application of this guidance to all federal financial assistance, whether or not funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act;
  • The definition of “infrastructure” as projects that serve a public function, are operated on behalf of the public, or are located in a place of public accommodation, including but not limited to public transportation, water systems, electrical transmission facilities and systems, utilities, electric vehicle charging, and buildings and real property;
  • Conditions under which a federal agency head may waive the application of Buy America preferences, including inconsistency with the public interest, nonavailability, or unreasonable costs.

On April 20, 2022,NASEO and E4TheFuture co-hosted a virtual discussion examining OMB’s memorandum and other domestic preference provisions that will impact state and federal infrastructure investments. NASEO will continue to monitor and provide information on domestic preference requirements and other key provisions related to infrastructure funding through the Infrastructure Act Resource Hub.