U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, wants the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to aggressively enforce the “Buy America” provisions within their jurisdiction.
“One of the greatest threats to a strong U.S. transportation manufacturing sector is the rise of predatory Chinese state-owned and -supported enterprises, which rely on government-subsidized, below-market pricing to drive legitimate competitors out of business,” DeFazio, chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, wrote in a letter to the FTA.
“Congress sought to address this concern by prohibiting the use of federal transit funds to purchase rolling stock from State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in most cases,” DeFazio added. “Unfortunately, the law also provides four transit agencies with a permanent exemption to those protections.”
Specifically, DeFazio wants the FTA to:
- Ensure that when transit agencies procure SOE-built rolling stock, the manufacturer and the transit agency comply with all aspects of transit Buy America requirements, to which they are still subject.
- Undertake enhanced Buy America compliance reviews for procurements from SOEs.
- Identify Buy America oversight standards and reporting requirements to improve transit agencies’ oversight when procuring rolling stock from SOEs.
- Require robust and publicly-available reporting by exempt transit agencies of all mandatory and voluntary oversight steps they take when procuring rolling stock from SOEs.