Jul 07

Steeler Inc.

Steeler and the Buy America Act

by Steeler Inc.

Buy America Cold-Formed Steelmade-in-america.jpg

What We Require to Order Buy America Products

So far this year, we have received a few inquiries into products which meet the “Buy America Act”. There has been some understandable confusion between this and the similarly named “Buy American Act”. As such, this post is written to clarify any misunderstandings and to define the ramifications of Buy America for us from a manufacturer’s point-of-view.

Our steel suppliers obtain their raw materials from different locations. One of our suppliers meets the Buy American Act with all of the coils it produces, meaning that both the coils and the finished cold-formed steel members are produced domestically. However, our coil suppliers have expressed to us that coils which are to meet the stricter Buy America Act are subject to a minimum eight-week lead time and significantly higher costs. A recent quote put the cost of a Buy America approved coil at a substantial cost above non-“Buy American Act” and this higher cost would be transferred to the customer. In quoting a recent job, we bid these Buy America products at a noticeable increase in cost to the customer, plus an added 8-12 weeks of production time.

It seems the building materials industry is not prevalent in the mass-transit sector, so there has not yet been an emphasis on ordering coils which meet the Buy America Act. As such, we have never ordered this type of coil and do not plan on doing so until demand warrants the added cost. We have limited space at our production facilities, and inventory which does not move hurts our efficiency and creates unnecessary, unrecouped costs and therefore we require that any customer that wishes to special-order Buy America coils purchase a minimum of 45,000 pounds of products per mil thickness required.  

Per the Buy America Act, a waiver is available to allow for products assembled in the United States but not sourced domestically to be used in place of much costlier, less prevalent products. Based on the definitions given in 49 U.S. Code Section 5323, subsection j, we recommend that project managers who require cold-formed steel to meet Buy America apply for this waiver due to the lack of availability and much higher costs associated with these materials. If you have any questions, please call our Corporate office at 206-725-2500. Please use the following documents to help fulfill your Buy American/America project requirements:


Buy American Act - Steel


Buy American Act - Screws


Steeler Buy America Act