Section 3: Buy America

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Unless otherwise specified in the contract, Standard Specifications Section 6.1.1, “Buy America,” requires the following of the contractor:

Comply with the latest provision of Buy America as listed at 23 CFR 635.410. Use steel and iron materials melted and manufactured in the United States except when:

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    • the cost of materials, including delivery, does not exceed 0.1% of the total contract cost or $2,500, whichever is greater,
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    • the contract contains an alternate bid item for a foreign source steel or iron product and the contract is awarded based on the alternate item, or
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    • the materials are temporarily installed.

The Material Inspection Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the Buy America program and a list defining the required documentation that must accompany Form 1818 (D 9-USA-1), “Material Statement”

Form 1818-with the attached mill test reports, certifications, galvanizing reports, etc.-must be received for:

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  • all predominantly steel and iron items received and sampled by the Project Engineer for testing by MTD, and
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  • all predominantly steel and iron items received, inspected, and accepted by the Project Engineer, with the following exceptions.
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    • Steel items inspected and tested by MTD - The Project Engineer receives a MTD Structural Test Report as proof of compliance.
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    • Reinforcing Steel - The Project Engineer obtains only mill test reports and any applicable coating certifications for reinforcing steel furnished in accordance with Item 440.

Miscellaneous Steel

Sometimes miscellaneous steel is difficult to track due to several different parts being manufactured from a single sheet of steel. When an item is predominantly steel and a certification is required, obtain a Certification Letter for Miscellaneous Steel may be obtained from the manufacturer for certifying Buy America compliance. Items that are not predominantly steel do not need to comply with Buy America. Reference FHWA letter dated August 31, 2018 for more information.

For extra guidance refer to CST Construction Support Webpage.

If credible evidence, documentation or an identified credible witness, is found that puts the domestic origin of steel or iron in question (evidence that a supplier is providing improper or falsified documentation), the Department entity responsible for acceptance of the material (division or district warehouse, project engineer, Support Services Division, or MTD) must notify the contractor/supplier (handled according to the type of contract) in writing regarding the problem and take appropriate action to resolve the issue. Do not threaten the contractor/supplier with false claim statements or legal action.

If the issue is not resolved and the credible evidence indicates a possible false claim, elevate the issue through administration at the originating division or district office to MTD’s Prefabricated Structural Materials Section for further handling. MTD will assist in resolution and, if needed, forward recommendations to GCD for legal issues or Compliance Division (CMP) for ethical issues.

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