Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver
Number 65 FR 25419
[Federal Register: May 1, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 84)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
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 Orion Bus Industries (Orion) to count the
axle used in the Orion II paratransit vehicle as a domestic component
for the purposes of calculating overall domestic content and was
predicated on the non-availability of the item domestically. A similar
waiver was granted by FTA to Orion in 1998 for the period of two years.
Because the market has not changed in the intervening two years, Orion
requested that FTA extend this waiver. It was extended on February 28,
2000, for the period of two years, or until such time as a domestic
source for this heavy-duty axle becomes available. This notice shall
insure that the public, particularly potential manufacturers, is aware
of this waiver. FTA requests that the public notify it of any relevant
changes in the domestic market of heavy-duty axles.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Meghan G. Ludtke, FTA Office of
Chief Counsel, Room 9316, (202) 366-4011 (telephone) or (202) 366-3809
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The above referenced waiver is as follows:
February 28, 2000.
Mr. Paul Royal,
Executive Vice President, Orion Bus Industries, A Division of
Western Star Trucks, Inc., 350 Hazelhurst Road, Mississauge,
Re: Application for Extension of Buy America Waiver for Orion II
Dear Mr. Royal: This letter responds to your correspondence of
January 19, 2000, in which you request an extension of a Buy America
waiver granted for the procurement of the GNX axle for use in your
Orion II paratransit vehicle. The original two-year waiver was
granted on February 27, 1998, per your request of December 22, 1997.
This letter incorporates, by reference, the information contained in
the above letters.
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.
This waiver would allow Orion to count the axle as domestic for
the purposes of calculating overall domestic content of the vehicle.
You request a waiver under 49
U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B), which states those requirements shall not
apply if the item or items being procured are not produced in the
U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a
satisfactory quality. The implementing regulation provides that,
``[i]t will be presumed that the conditions exist to grant this non-
availability waiver if no responsive and responsible bid is received
offering an item produced in the United States.'' 49 CFR
661.7(c)(1). The regulation goes on to note that, ``[t]he waivers
described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section may be granted
for a component or subcomponent in the case of procurement of the
items governed by section 165(b)(3) of the Act (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 CFR 661.7(f). The regulations allow a bidder or supplier
to request a non-availability waiver for a component or subcomponent
in the procurement of rolling stock. See 49 CFR 661.7(f) and 49 CFR
You claim that the type of axle necessary for the production of
the Orion II is not available from a domestic source. In addition to
the representations in your correspondence, you have also provided
me with letters from two U.S. manufacturers of the heavy-duty axle,
Spicer Heavy Axle and Meritor Automotive, Inc. You represent that
these are the only two such manufacturers, and they both indicate
that they have no plans to manufacture the product in the U.S.
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 hereby extended for the procurement of heavy-duty
axles for the Orion II for the period of two years, or until such
time as a domestic source for this heavy-duty axle becomes
available. In order to insure that the public is aware of this
waiver, particularly potential manufacturers, this waiver will be
published in the Federal Register.
If you have any questions, please contact Meghan G. Ludtke at
Very truly yours,
Gregory B. McBride,
Deputy Chief Counsel.
Issued: April 26, 2000.
Nuria I. Fernandez,
[FR Doc. 00-10779 Filed 4-28-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P