Our TAA Compliance Attorneys and BAA Compliance Lawyers Help Federal Contractors, Manufacturers and Resellers to Avoid Costly Legal Mistakes and Minimize Criminal Liability Across the USA and Overseas.
The Government Contracts attorneys at Watson assist clients across various industries in adhering to the intricate web of country-of-origin restrictions applicable to federal procurements. These include the Buy American Act (BAA), Trade Agreements Act (TAA), Berry Amendment, restrictions on using specialty metals outside the United States, and reporting requirements associated with conflict minerals.
Additionally, our experienced attorneys offer guidance on the distinct Buy America restrictions that are applicable to federally-funded transit projects, including those funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Companies enlist the expertise of Watson & Associates, LLC TAA Compliance Lawyers and BAA Compliance Attorneys to evaluate product compliance with the Trade Agreements Act. The process of determining compliance is specific to each product and entails considering factors such as manufacturing processes, component lists, country of origin, and other requested information. Our compliance opinions are based on agency guidance, relevant case law, and reputable sources like U.S. Customs.
Overview of the Trade Agreements Act
Although to be straightforward, this law possesses intricate nuances that may lead to significant financial consequences for manufacturers and government contractors not in compliance with GSA schedule and BAA regulations. Hence, it is crucial for both prime contractors and subcontractors bidding on U.S. Government contracts to fully understand the requirements of BAA and TAA compliance, make appropriate agency representations, and affirm TAA or BAA compliance. Non-compliance with these certifications can result in legal issues for CEOs.
The United States is a signatory to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement. The agreement is codified into U.S. law as the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and is implemented at FAR 52.225-5. The TAA allows the President to waive Buy American Act (“BAA”) requirements for certain goods from designated countries. To the extent a procurement is subject to the TAA, the BAA would not apply.
As of 2014, the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) is applicable to numerous procurements for goods and services above $204,000, or construction procurements above $7,864,000. However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to this rule. The TAA exceptions include:
1. Acquisitions reserved for small businesses,
2. Acquisitions of arms, ammunition, or war materials, including purchases essential for national security or defense purposes,
3. Acquisitions of end products for resale,
4. Acquisitions from Federal Prison Industries, Inc., or Nonprofit Agencies Employing People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled,
5. Other acquisitions that do not involve full and open competition, and
6. Specific services listed in FAR 25.401(b).
If the TAA does not apply, the Buy American Act (BAA) becomes applicable.
Procurements subject to TAA compliance require that all products qualify as American-made or designated country-end products. Unlike the BAA which allows offers for non-domestic end products based upon price reasonableness, the TAA generally does not allow non-TAA compliant products to be purchased if compliant products are offered.
TAA Qualifications: To meet the criteria as a U.S.-made or designated country end product, the product must be manufactured in the United States or the designated country. Alternatively, the product must undergo substantial transformation in the United States or the designated country, resulting in a new article of commerce with distinct name, character, or use compared to its original form.
The country of origin, as per the Trade Agreements Act regulations, refers to the country where the end product underwent its last substantial transformation. Unlike the BAA, compliance with the TAA does not rely on the relative value of components. Therefore, a product that meets TAA compliance may not necessarily fulfill BAA compliance.
How Our BAA TAA Lawyers Can Help You
Our Government Contracts team can provide guidance and assess to gauge whether your company may be TAA compliant or BAA compliant. We help U.S. and non-U.S. clients relating to specialized – and highly restrictive – Country of Origin requirements applicable to federal, state and local programs funded by grants made by the U.S. Department of Transportation and other agencies. The following are some examples of how we can help you.
- Assisting you in achieving compliance with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulatory requirements, including adherence to Buy America requirements, conducting component valuation to fulfill Buy America requirements, assessing the applicability of foreign-content exceptions for “rolling stock,” and comprehending obligations under terms and conditions governing operators of federally-funded ride-share programs.
- Assisting consumer electronics companies in evaluating compliance with mass-transit Buy America requirements. This includes assessing the integration of electronic components and sub-components into the final delivered product, evaluating manufacturing and delivery options to meet governmental requirements, and assessing Buy America waiver possibilities.
What are Buy American Act BAA Compliance Requirements?
The Buy American Act of 1933 mandates that the federal government prioritize procuring American-made iron, steel, and manufactured goods whenever possible. According to this act, a product is considered American-made if at least 50 percent of its constituent parts and/or materials originated in the US. Over time, subsequent amendments have shaped a comprehensive body of policy, procedure, and case law around this principle.
Federal government contractors must operate within the framework set forth by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, commonly known as “Buy America.” This policy applies to procurements funded through the Department of Transportation, including highway, bridge, rail, and transit construction projects. To qualify as American-made under Buy America, a product must meet stringent requirements encompassing all manufacturing processes, constituent parts, and/or materials originating in the US.
The introduction of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 brought forth a new standard applicable to projects funded by Recovery Act funds. This standard supersedes previous requirements, establishes updated definitions of American-made, and extends the compliance requirement to construction market sectors that were previously exempt from such regulations.
Call us immediately at 1.866.601.5518 to speak to one of our Buy American Act compliance attorneys.
BAA and TAA Compliance Investigation Lawyers for False Claims Act Allegations.
When it comes to BAA and TAA investigations conducted by the DOJ or OIG, the assistance of Watson & Associates False Claims Act investigation attorneys can prove invaluable. We specialize in providing expert legal representation and guidance to government contractors, subcontractors, grant recipients, and other entities throughout every phase of an investigation. Our services include offering legal counsel in response to civil and criminal subpoenas and civil Investigative Demands (CID), facilitating discovery requests through collecting evidence and data, and conducting internal investigations when necessary. See key considerations when responding to a DOJ CID.
Whether you require advice on the False Claims Act or find yourself facing a BAA or TAA investigation by the government, we offer experienced legal representation that aims to safeguard your rights fully. Moreover, we are adept at identifying potential law violations and developing proactive compliance strategies, thus mitigating the risk of liability and accompanying penalties. With our extensive expertise in all aspects of federal contracting law, including the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), our False Claims Act attorneys are well-positioned to assist you.
Government Contract Attorneys Experienced in TAA Compliance and BAA Compliance Requirements
At Watson & Associates, LLC, our highly experienced attorneys specialize in BAA TAA compliance. We possess an in-depth understanding of the complexities and nuances of TAA and BAA compliance requirements. With extensive expertise in government contracts law, we are well-equipped to guide you through the intricacies of various BAA TAA regulations and assess the compliance of your product. Count on our dedicated team to provide expert legal counsel on every aspect of your federal contract.
Call Us to Get Started
For immediate help, call us at 1.866.601.5518. Speak to high-profile lawyer Theodore Watson, Lead Counsel.