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Buy America vs. Buy American



Buy American vs. Buy America

Buy American vs. Buy America


Although the names sound similar, knowing the difference between
the "Buy American Act" and the "Buy America Act" can save your next project, as there can be severe repercussions for failing to comply.

Connexion can help find the resources you need to navigate
domestic procurement requirements.

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What is the Buy American Act?


The Buy American Act ("BAA") was passed by Congress in 1933 under President Hoover and required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases. This legislation is the primary domestic preference statute governing procurement by the federal government. The BAA protects domestic labor by requiring a preference for domestic end products and construction materials.


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What is the Buy America Act?


The Buy America Act was created within Section 165 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, a comprehensive transportation funding and policy act championed by the Reagan administration. The Buy America Act applies only to purchases related to rail or road transportation.


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What are the primary differences between Buy American and Buy America?


Buy American Act:



  • Products must be manufactured in the United States

  • Up to 50% non-U.S. raw materials are allowed

  • The cost of the components mined, produced or manufactured in the U.S. must exceed 50% of the cost of all the components


Buy America Act:



  • End product must have 100% of the raw materials made in the U.S.

  • The product must be 100% manufactured in the U.S.

  • All steel & iron components must be mined, melted & manufactured in the U.S.



What is the Trade Agreements Act?


The Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) was enacted in 1979 and can restrict procurement of goods and services for federal contracts. The TAA allows the President to waive the BAA under certain conditions and products can be TAA compliant if they are manufactured in the US or certain specified “Designated Countries.”


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This information does not provide legal advice. If you have questions about the application of any government contract provision,
you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.



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