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Christopher Weld Discusses Legislation to Update Domestic Content Rules

Inside U.S. Trade
April 4, 2017

Christopher B. Weld, a partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice was quoted by Inside U.S. Trade in a March 30 article regarding aspects of the Buy American Improvement Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill introduced in February by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a member of the Congressional Steel Caucus. The goal of the legislation is to improve the transparency of domestic content requirements at the agency level for entities that contract with the government. The Congressional Steel Caucus supports the bill and believes it will strengthen the country’s national defense, infrastructure, and energy systems, according to the article.

The bill would update aspects of the 1933 Buy American Act, which applies to direct procurement of end products by the government, as well as the 1982 Buy America statute.

The bill—which looks “strong”—would “improve both the Buy American Act and the various Buy America programs that apply across certain federal agencies,” Mr. Weld said. He also pointed out that the proposed legislative changes would include more restricted waivers, enhanced compliance requirements, and steps to address loopholes.

While Buy America currently applies to agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation, the new legislation would apply to additional federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rural Utilities Service, according to Mr. Weld.