Thanks to vigilant monitoring, EERE Project Officers have been doing their part to encourage private investment in American manufacturing jobs.


How is that possible, you might ask?


As part of their monitoring efforts, Project Officers identified a claim by a city grantee that the “Buy American provision” of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act did not apply to its hydropower modernization project.


The Buy American provision provides that for Recovery Act public works or public building projects, grantees are required to use iron, steel and manufactured goods produced in the United States.  This helps support domestic manufacturing and U.S. economic competitiveness.  In cases where one of the three listed exceptions applies - non-availability in the U.S. market, unreasonable cost, or inconsistent with the public interest – the Department of Energy can issue a product waiver.


In this case, the recipient mistakenly asserted that the Buy American provisions did not apply because the acquisition was covered by an international agreement.  In consultation with DOE’s Office of the General Counsel, the project officer advised the recipient that it could not avail itself of the United States’ obligations under its trade agreements.  The mistake was corrected and the recipient moved forward to purchase American-made materials. 


As a result, the recipient selected a turbine vendor who engaged an American company specifically to manufacture the large components of the turbine.  In other words, because of this Recovery Act project, a foreign turbine manufacturer integrated American businesses into their supply chain, spurring additional investment in the U.S. economy.