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Groups Voice Concerns About Build America Buy America Guidelines

The American Public Power Association has joined a coalition of trade associations in a recent letter sent to senior Biden administration officials expressing concerns over the administration’s Build America Buy America guidelines.

The letter, sent to Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator and John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, emphasizes industry concerns that BABA guidelines, as written, will prohibit the ability for both the Administration and industry to achieve the policy goals of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Further, the letter asserts that the domestic content requirements within BABA are unclear and do not reflect supply chain realities faced by U.S. manufacturers. This is leading to confusion among industry and delays for already backlogged infrastructure and clean energy projects, spurring the need for this outreach, the groups argue.

In April of 2022, the Office of Management and Budget Made in America Office released its BABA implementation guidance.

The letter emphasizes the following recommendations:

  • Clear and consistent guidance across all states and territories: The federal government should provide consistent guidance and program rules across federal agencies and programs for implementing BABA provisions. Currently, product supply chains face different requirements when supplying products via federal procurement, to a federally funded infrastructure project, and to an IRA-supported clean energy projects.
  • Include American labor in the cost of components: Including labor costs would promote American jobs, consistent with both Congress’s intent in the IIJA and the administration’s goal to support good-paying manufacturing jobs.
  • Utilize existing free trade agreements: Leveraging existing trade agreements with our allies will eliminate bottlenecks, expedite commerce, and secure supply chains.

Along with APPA, other groups that signed on to the letter are the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Information Technology Industry Council, National Association of Electrical Distributors, National Electrical Contractors Association, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.