Materials interests embrace IIJA Buy America clarification, exclusions

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff

Materials anchoring the supply chain behind Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)-funded building or nonbuilding construction projects have explicit exclusions to White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-issued Build America, Buy America (BABA) sourcing requirements. National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Asphalt Pavement Association, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association and Portland Cement Association members and staff prevailed in their appeals to exempt imported materials and secure firm clarifications as OMB penned final BABA guidance per IIJA provisions.   

Mid-August OMB guidance, likely effective by the end of October, puts to rest questions surrounding IIJA Section 70917 (c) Construction Materials designations in relation to separately defined Manufactured Products. Approval of the latter for IIJA-funded projects hinges on certain levels of domestic content or processing. OMB affirms: “Section 70917 (c) mean[s] cement and cementitious materials, aggregates such as stone, sand, or gravel, or aggregate binding agents or additives.”

“The new guidance includes extensive clarification to ensure federal, state and local agencies do not place a new domestic sourcing requirement on the materials our collective industries produce to build and maintain our modern way of life,” a joint NRMCA, NAPA, NSSGA and PCA statement notes. The 70917 (c) clarification, the groups add, “Marks the culmination of four years of relentless advocacy efforts by our organizations. We have been dedicated to informing and persuading policymakers about the intricacies of our supply chains and the necessity of ongoing imports of aggregates, cement, and binder. These imports are crucial for building roads, constructing waterways, creating housing, and facilitating energy delivery to every community.”

Recognizing member, staff and IIJA-backed project stakeholder outreach, the associations conclude, “OMB has offer[ed] much-needed clarity and reassurance to our respective industries. This ensures that aggregates, concrete, and asphalt supplied to federally funded construction projects will not be subjected to domestic sourcing requirements. Our teams will continue to digest this guidance and monitor federal and state agencies ultimately responsible for implanting the BABA requirements.”