Although construction industry leaders and some governmental entities have requested a delay, infrastructure projects funded by federal dollars will have to use American-made construction materials as of last Thursday, November 17, 2022.
In response to supply chain and cost concerns, the Transportation Department in May waived the requirements for construction materials like wood and plastic for 180 days. The waiver expired on November 17, 2022, and the department indicated it wouldn’t extend it, instead offering narrower exemptions for smaller or previously initiated projects.
Construction and contractor groups say the smaller waivers could create confusion — while quickly implementing Buy America requirements would force contractors to buy scarce and expensive materials, and could delay a range of projects from transit to rail. States have already warned higher prices and supply troubles would result in fewer projects funded by last year’s infrastructure law than originally intended.
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