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‘Buy America’ Standards to Boost Domestic Sourcing
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This research service is aimed at providing valuable content for bus manufacturers and distributors by analyzing various bus segments and dealership models in the US market. Manufacturing and doing bus business in the United States has been made challenging with various policies defined by the federal government. Additionally, the US Department of Transportation (US DoT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have also listed several standards to be adopted by bus manufacturers in the US market. For instance, bus manufacturers operating in the United States must comply with a wide range of operational and design regulations. Some of the most important policies and regulations that need to be followed include emissions regulations, domestic sourcing, customs and border protection regulations for importers, standards for the use of alternative fuels and ‘Buy America’ regulations. This study will provide an update on the state of the bus industry, an analysis of how federal regulations and policies are impacting the bus manufacturing industry, and suggestions for bus manufacturers and dealers to help them move forward and thrive in the market, while providing the best service to customers.Despite the various regulations and policies, the Federal government also creates a favorable business environment by providing various grants and incentive programs, such as the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which is a five-year grant of $305 billion to improve the United States’ surface transportation infrastructure. Hundreds of millions are allocated to purchase new public transit buses ($227 million in 2017). Similarly, federal and state incentive grants are being provided for the purchase of hybrid and electric buses with an objective to achieve an emission-free environment. This initiative ultimately drives vehicle replacements. Apart from this, the growth of US urban population is consistently exceeding the nation’s overall growth rate—this scenario increases the need for more public transit routes.With the Trump Administration’s intention to solidify domestic sourcing, foreign vehicle manufacturers can expect uncompromising regulations and a further increase in taxation on imported vehicles sooner. Currently, regulations require that buses have their final assembly in the United States. According to ‘Buy America’ regulations, more than 60% of the vehicle's content should have been produced in the United States. As a result, domestic sourcing requirements are receiving a heightened focus, which might result in a further increase of import tariffs.The spatial structure in the United States is influencing bus business and demographic attributes, such as population size, which is determining the need for bus services in the United States. However, these policies and regulations are pushing foreign bus manufacturers to have a manufacturing facility in the United States to attain ‘Buy America’ eligibility and penetrate the US market.
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Author: Jagadeesh Chandran
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