On January 19, 2021, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council published the final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) in accordance with President Trump’s Executive Order 13881, “Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials.” As we discussed in our prior blog articles here (discussing the September 2020 proposed rule) and here (discussing the July 15, 2019 order), the Executive Order required significant changes to the regulations implementing the Buy American Act, 41 U.S.C. §§ 8301-8305 (“BAA”). The final rule varies very little from the September 14, 2020 proposed rule (discussed in greater detail here). Accordingly, the final rule amends applicable FAR clauses with three key impacts:
- Increasing the domestic content requirement – to 55% for most products, and to 95% for products consisting “wholly or predominantly” of iron or steel, or a combination of both (and including new definitions to clarify further what types of products are covered by the heightened requirements);
- Removing the commercially available-off-the-shelf (“COTS”) exception for products consisting “wholly or predominantly” of iron or steel, or a combination of both (but leaving a partial exception in place for COTS fasteners made wholly or predominantly of iron or steel); and
- Increasing price preferences for domestic products – from 6% to 20% for large businesses, and from 12% to 30% for small businesses.
The final rule and the new FAR clauses are effective on January 21, 2021 – although it is not required in new solicitations until February 22, 2021.
Continue reading at: Government Contracts and Investigations blog