DeFazio to FTA: Aggressively Enforce ‘Buy America’ Provisions

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.

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