Federal Highway Administration Administrator close to confirmation

October 31, 2017 - On September 8, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Paul Trombino III to be Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). A link to the White House announcement is here. Mr. Trombino’s nomination was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on October 25 and is pending on the Senate Floor. It is expected to be approved soon.

This is important because there has been widespread speculation that the FHWA and U.S. Department of Transportation would not take any action on changes to the Buy America Program until a new Administrator is in place.

It’s now been just over a year since the Obama FHWA issued a notice proposing two nationwide waivers from the Buy America Program. The first was a permanent waiver for Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) products with steel or iron components. The second was a one-year waiver for steel tie wire permanently incorporated in precast concrete products. FHWA also announced that it was considering whether to issue a nationwide waiver for specialized lifting devices incorporated in precast concrete products. See our update on the proposed actions here.

No action has been taken on the proposed waivers and no other nationwide waivers have been proposed over the past year. However, we expect that once a new Administrator is in place, FHWA will take some sort of action on the proposed waivers. Buy America Steel Products Association follows FHWA’s actions on the Buy America Program on a daily basis. We urge you to check back on this website for updates on this or any other Buy America Program changes.