Made in America

BABA explained

What is Build America, Buy America?

The Build America, Buy America (BABA) Act aims to invigorate the American economy, fortify local supply chains, and generate employment opportunities.

Enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, BABA focuses on maximizing the federal government’s use of services, goods, products, and materials produced and offered in the United States. 

To be compliant, products must adhere to the following key components of the act:

Build America 🛠️

Requires iron, steel, construction materials, and manufactured goods (which include a range of ITS equipment) be manufactured in the US.

Buy America 💳

Requires the cost of foreign components to be less than 45% of the total cost of all components of the product.

How does this affect your ITS project?

A year following the introduction of Buy America requirements in 1982, the FHWA created the Manufactured Products General Waiver – that continues to this day – exempting manufactured products including ITS equipment. So, as of today, individual states and agencies are not required to purchase BABA-compliant products when using federal funds, though some choose to do so.

However, in March 2024, the FHWA recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to discontinue the waiver which would require federal fund recipients to start applying BABA guidelines.

As part of the NPRM, the FHWA is also soliciting feedback from the industry on how this would impact them. You can learn more and submit comments through the link below. Comments are due by May 13, 2024.

BABA compliant products

Q-Free traffic signal controllers are proudly made and sourced in the United States in compliance with BABA requirements.

We also started compiling a list of other ITS/traffic industry manufacturers that offer BABA-compliant products. If you know of a manufacturer that should be on this list, please let us know.