WWEMA launches website portal discussing effects of 'Buy American' provisions

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WASHINGTON, DC, July 11, 2014 -- A new website portal has been developed by the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) that provides extensive information and resources regarding the effects of the "Buy American" provisions in recently-enacted legislation on water and wastewater infrastructure funding. The site, "What You Should Know About Buy American," provides the only online repository of its kind on the topic.

The 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) both contain language imposing "American Iron and Steel" restrictions on federally-funded water and wastewater projects. Such restrictions increase project costs and delay project timelines, disrupt established manufacturing supply chains, stifle competition both inside and outside U.S. borders, and lead to retaliatory legislation in other countries.

"This online portal is a one-stop resource to help manufacturers and other key stakeholders understand the legislation as well as its potential impact on their businesses and water and wastewater infrastructure projects," said  WWEMA Executive Director Vanessa Leiby.

The new site covers:

  • The legislation and Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guidance regarding interpretation and enforcement: These sections offer links to the acts and guidance and include the definitions of "iron and steel products," "municipal castings" and "construction materials" affected by the laws.
  • WWEMA's position, response and strategy for promoting fair and open trade: WWEMA has opposed "Buy American" since its introduction in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and has since led the charge to fight such provisions. These sections of the site examine the problems caused by unduly restrictive trade measures and link to more than a dozen letters and articles the Association has issued to speak out against them.
  • WWEMA fact sheet: WWEMA developed a one-page fact sheet titled, "Buy American: How Does It Affect Your Business?" offering a quick overview of the legislation and the Association's position on it.
  • International response to the provisions: "Buy American" has led to a backlash from the United States' international trading partners, including Canada and the European Union. This section links to several cases of retaliation.
  • Enforcement: Failure to comply with "Buy American" requirements can result in fund denial/withdrawal, and falsifying documents can lead to stiff legal fines. This section includes links to related cases.
  • Additional resources: This section includes links to additional helpful guides to the legislation and other organizations' policies and positions on it.

The portal can be accessed from the WWEMA home page at www.wwema.org. Manufacturers and other stakeholders interested in contributing their voice to WWEMA's efforts to support fair and unrestricted trade should contact the Association at 703.444.1777.

See also:

"WWEMA's 2014 Washington Forum to cover regulatory, legislative framework opportunities"

"Congress Considers "Buy American" for SRF Program"


About WWEMA

Since 1908, WWEMA has informed, educated and provided leadership on the issues that shape the future of the water and wastewater industry. Its member companies supply the most sophisticated leading products and technology, offering solutions to every water-related environmental problem and need facing today’s society. For more information, visit www.wwema.org.

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