made in usa regulations

Posted on January, 2017

In today’s economy, it has become increasingly important to bring manufacturing jobs back to American shores, or “reshore.” Reshoring stimulates domestic job growth and ultimately results in overall cost savings, helping to more quickly rebuild the U.S. manufacturing base.

Reshoring efforts have largely focused on American-made products, and various regulations are in place to ensure that project components and services are of domestic origin. Today more than ever, many projects require products to be sourced within the United States.

Because these various regulations have different definitions of “American-made,” it is important to have a solid understanding of several specific reshoring regulations, including:

  • Buy American Act
  • Buy America Act
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — Buy American Provision


The Buy American Act (BAA) of 1933 states that a construction material or end product can only qualify as domestic if it meets a two-part test:

  1. unmanufactured and mined or produced in the United States; or
  2. manufactured in the United States, and
    1. the cost of the components mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States exceeds 50% of the cost of all components, or
    2. the construction material is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) item.

An end product or construction material is considered compliant with the domestic requirements of the BAA as long as it meets the stipulations listed above.


Focused on the transportation industry, the Buy America provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 requires that “all iron, steel, and manufactured products used in the project are produced in the United States.” This applies to all work funded by the Department of Transportation.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), or Public Law 111-5, is often referred to as The Recovery Act, or simply, The Stimulus. Passed in 2009 in response to the Great Recession, the ARRA aims to save and create jobs, as well as provide temporary relief programs by investing in infrastructure, education, health, and renewable energy.

For the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in ARRA-funded projects to qualify as produced or manufactured in the United States, they must be unmanufactured and mined or produced in the United States, or manufactured domestically.

The Buy American provision of the ARRA states that iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in construction projects must be manufactured in the United States, from melt through final assembly.


At Gibson Stainless & Specialty Inc., we are committed to providing American-made products for the electrical industry. The castings in our primary product lines are 100% domestic, made in American foundries. Additionally, machining, finishing, inspection, assembly, and packaging are completed at Gibson Stainless by Gibson Stainless employees.

Our free guide, “Understanding the Regulations for American-Made Products,” provides further clarification on these acts and their specific regulations, making it easier for your company to achieve compliance. Download a copy of our guide today, or contact us to learn how our company can assist you with your next project.


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