Since the court order on Dec. 22, 2015, the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) has met with FHWA three times to describe the impact of the strict interpretation of Buy America provisions on the precast concrete industry. At the most recent meeting, Ty Gable, NPCA president, and Rich Krolewski, director of certification and regulatory services, met with the top official at FHWA, Greg Nadeau, FHWA administrator. “He listened to everything we had to say, asked a lot of questions and requested follow-up information, which we are providing,” Gable said.
FHWA has drafted a new regulation as mandated by the court that is currently under internal review. If approved for release, the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register and open for a public comment period of 45 days.
Once a proposed rule is available, the NPCA will articulate a clear position and will issue written comments during the open comment period.
In the meanwhile, NPCA cautions that if you are bidding on any FHWA-funded work, it is important to evaluate your use of tie wire, lifting devices, and any other steel or iron elements that come from foreign manufacturers. Assume that you will be required to furnish documentation that all of the steel and iron components of your products are melted and manufactured in the U.S. and make the appropriate adjustments to your manufacturing process. If you have not received formal communication from your DOT in recent months regarding Buy America, it is important to contact them and make sure you know where they stand before manufacturing any products for the DOT.