The U.S. Transit Suppliers Coalition, a group aimed at clarifying the original provisions of Buy America, gathered at the APTA annual conference Sunday to celebrate the success of SAFETEA-LU, which made key changes to the controversial legislation.
Changes include tighter enforcement of the law during procurements, altering vague language to close loopholes and requiring written notice in the Federal Register before any public interest waivers can be granted.
However, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must make regulations on the new law by Feb. 12, 2006, signaling a long process wherein the FTA must solicit comments and decide how to define and interpret Buy America changes.
“After two years of hard work, we have succeeded in reinvigorating the spirit of the original Buy America law,” said Peter Peyser of Blank Rome Government Relations LLC. “But rather than score a touchdown, we are now at first and goal. There is more work to be done.”
For more information, visit www.buyamericacoalition.org.