Townsend Public Affairs advocacy effort results in 10 partial Buy America waivers worth $1,566,036 for the Merced County Association of Governments (“MCAG”). These waivers allowed five cities in Merced County to purchase 10 pollution-reducing vehicles.
Buy America provisions ensure that transportation infrastructure projects are built with American-made products. That means that Department of Transportation investments are able to support an entire supply chain of American companies and their employees. Without the waivers, MCAG would have been prevented from using Federal dollars to make the purchases as the Federal Highway Administration’s Buy America requirement mandates that all steel and iron used in government projects be manufactured domestically. Because all vehicles are manufactured using a variety of parts containing steel and iron from different countries, there are virtually no vehicles in the market manufactured from 100 percent domestically produced steel and iron. MCAG requested Buy America waivers for the purchase of ten updated vehicles that would reduce emissions and eventually improve air quality.
TPA coordinated a coalition of Congressional members from the San Joaquin Valley including Representatives Jim Costa, Devin Nunes, David Valadao, Tom McClintock, Jeff Denham, and Kevin McCarthy who issued delegation letter to the Secretary of Transportation advocating for the waivers.
On Friday, June 14, 2013, the waiver requests were granted; the first requests granted for the state of California in many months