Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver

Printer Friendly Number 67 FR 56344

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[Federal Register:  September 3, 2002  (Volume 67, Number 170)]
[Page 56344]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
Federal Transit Administration
Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of granted buy America waiver.
SUMMARY: This waiver allows North American Bus Industries to count a 
foreign-manufactured articulating joint system used in its low floor 
bus as a domestic component for purposes of calculating the aggregate 
domestic content of the vehicle and was predicated on the non-
availability of the item in the domestic market. The waiver was granted 
on July 9, 2002. This notice shall insure that the public, particularly 
potential manufacturers, is aware of the waiver. FTA requests that the 
public notify it of any relevant changes in the domestic articulating 
joint market.
Counsel, Room 9316, (202) 366-1936 (telephone) or (202) 366-3809 (fax).
    Issued: August 26, 2002.
Robert D. Jamison,
Deputy Administrator.
August 9, 2002.
Mr. Bill Coryell,
Vice President, Sales, North American Bus Industries, 20350 Ventura 
Blvd., Suite 205, Woodland Hills, California 91364.
    Dear Mr. Coryell: This letter responds to your correspondence of 
April 5 and June 26, 2002, in which you request a non-availability 
waiver of the Buy America requirements for the procurement of the 
Hubner Manufacturing Corporation (Hubner) articulating joint system 
for use in North American Bus Industries' (NABI) low floor and 
standard floor articulated buses. The system is comprised of a 
mechanical articulating joint incorporating an electronically 
controlled, hydraulic damping subsystem.
    The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) requirements 
concerning domestic preference for federally funded transit projects 
are set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5323(j). Section 5323(j)(2)(C) addresses 
the general requirements for the procurement of rolling stock. This 
section provides that all rolling stock procured with FTA funds must 
have a domestic content of at least 60 percent and must undergo 
final assembly in the U.S.
    A non-availability waiver would allow NABI to count the joint as 
domestic for the purposes of calculating the aggregate domestic 
content of the vehicle. You request a waiver under 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(2)(B), which states the Buy America requirements shall not 
apply if the item or items being procured are not produced in the 
U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or are not of 
a satisfactory quality. The regulation provides that non-
availability waivers `` may be granted for a component or 
subcomponent in the case of the procurement of the items governed by 
[49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C)] (requirements for rolling stock). If a 
waiver is granted for a component or subcomponent, that component or 
subcomponent will be considered to be of domestic origin for the 
purposes of section 661.11 of this part.'' 49 C.F.R. 661.7(f).
    You state that the Hubner articulating joint system is necessary 
for the production of articulated buses and is not available from a 
domestic source. It was also noted that FTA granted a similar waiver 
to New Flyer on April 24, 2001. We posted a request for comments on 
this matter on our website and we received no comments from domestic 
manufacturers of this product, though we did receive comments from 
another foreign manufacturer who claims that they make an equivalent 
product and would be disadvantaged by a waiver for the Hubner 
product. FTA will follow-up separately with that party.
    Based on the information you have provided, I have determined 
that the grounds for a non-availability waiver do exist. Therefore, 
pursuant to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B), the waiver is 
granted for the procurement of Hubner's articulating joint system 
for NABI's articulated buses. In order to insure that the public is 
aware of this waiver, particularly potential manufacturers, this 
waiver will be published in the Federal Register.
    However, as FTA told New Flyer in a January 17, 2001, letter, we 
expect NABI to work with domestic suppliers to attempt to develop 
alternative sources for these products. For that reason, we will 
grant this waiver to NABI for all solicitations responded to until 
April 24, 2003, which is when New Flyer's waiver expires. We will 
then evaluate the situation with respect to all vehicle and 
articulating joint manufacturers.
    If you have any questions, please contact Meghan G. Ludtke at 
      Very truly yours,
Gregory B. McBride,
Deputy Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 02-22265 Filed 8-30-02; 8:45 am]