The Buy America Act was originally established by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which was a transportation funding and policy act created under the Reagan administration. The Buy America Act was intended to give preference for the use of domestically produced materials on any procurements funded at least in part by the federal government. On November 15, 2021 President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) which includes the Build America, Buy America Act, which strengthened the previous laws.
The Act provides statutory authority for the Made in America Office, within the Office of Management and Budget to maximize and enforce compliance.
Clarification issued by the Made in America Office on April 18, 2022, states:
“By May 14, 2022 [Federal] agencies MUST ensure that all applicable programs comply with… the Act, including the incorporation of a Buy America preference in the terms and conditions of each award with an infrastructure project.”
The U.S. Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) provides $284 Billion in new spending for transportation infrastructure in the United States of America. Infrastructure projects supported by federal funds under the IIJA are defined:
“The IIJA’s definition of ‘infrastructure’ encompasses public infrastructure projects. Thus the term ‘infrastructure’ includes, at minimum, the structure, equipment and facilities for, in the United States, roads, highways, and bridges; public transportation; dams, ports, harbors, and other maritime facilities; intercity passenger and freight railroads; freight and intermodal facilities; airports; water systems, including drinking water and wastewater systems; electrical transmission facilities and systems; utilities; broadband infrastructure; and buildings and real property.”Further:
“When determining if a program has infrastructure expenditures, Federal agencies should interpret the term ‘infrastructure’ broadly…”
Products utilized for projects falling under the BABA requirements from IIJA are all required to be “100% manufactured in the United States”; but for further definition these products can fall under three categories:
For the iron and steel category, which would include steel lighting standards (poles), the requirement is “mined, melted, manufactured, and coated” in the United States. Although all of the US Architectural poles are manufactured in the United States, the iron is sourced outside of the US. Consequently, at the moment, no US Architectural steel poles are compliant.
The Manufactured Products category includes all the US Architectural and Sun Valley luminaires, as well as arms, aluminum poles and bases. The requirements were specified by the Final Rule determined by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) on March 7, 2022.
Manufactured products must meet the Cost of Components test based on domestic content thresholds that escalate. The cost of components is determined by the ratio of the cost of domestically sourced components divided by the cost of components from outside the US. This explicitly omits the cost of the final assembly. The domestic content thresholds are:
U.S. Architectural and Sun Valley Lighting luminaires, arms, bases and aluminum poles are manufactured items that are both made in the U.S.A. and meet the requisite cost of components test (COCT).
U.S. Architectural’s steel poles are categorized as iron and steel items which are wholly made in the U.S.A. however, U.S. Architectural steel poles DO NOT meet the guidelines established for compliance under the IIJA and its Build America Buy America provisions.
Starting with raw aluminum ingots, U.S. Architectural and Sun Valley Lighting craft the artistic day forms and create high performance photometric performance from our proprietary designs and LED lenses that are injection molded in California. Our customers can choose from a broad line of affordable outdoor architectural LED luminaires, arms, bases and shafts to meet specified requirements relating to their project, that are both Made in America and are BABA compliant.