On February 13, 2023, Diz Locaria was quoted in Government Executive on new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America, including lumber, glass, drywall, and fiber-optic cables. The proposal, announced during President Biden’s State of the Union Address, builds on initial implementation guidance, issued in April 2022, for the Build America, Buy America Act included in the bipartisan infrastructure law enacted in November 2021, as well as other efforts by the Biden administration to boost U.S. manufacturing.
“For decades, Buy America laws focused on iron and steel and only covered certain federally funded infrastructure projects,” said a statement from the White House. "Once finalized, these standards will apply to virtually all infrastructure spending supported by federal financial assistance—not simply roads and bridges, but also buildings, water infrastructure and high-speed internet, providing consistency for companies and state and local governments to apply the standards and a strong federal government-wide demand signal.”
Locaria told Government Executive the April guidance was essentially a “stop-gap” measure, so the administration would work on something more substantial. “There’s a patchwork right now of statutory and regulatory requirements” for domestic preferences, so he hopes this proposal “provides a little bit more clarity.” The applicability will be broader than just the infrastructure package, Locaria noted.
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