Nearly one year ago on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-5), more commonly known as the Stimulus Act, the Recovery Act, or ARRA. One of the key features of the Act included a "Buy American" requirement, requiring domestically manufactured "iron, steel, or manufactured goods" to be used in Recovery Act funded projects (located at Section 1605 of the Act). This requirement has proven to be a collossal headache for vendors supporting Recovery Act projects and has also proven to be immensely complicated for the good men and women in Government (including those at the State and local levels), who are faced with the task of figuring out how, where, and when the Recovery Act Buy American requirement applies. 
 


Continue Reading Six Questions To Ask In Figuring Out Whether The Recovery Act Buy American Requirement Applies To You

Effective January 1, 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Ronald Kirk, published new dollar thresholds determining the applicability of the Buy American Act (BAA), the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), and (potentially) other "Buy American" preferences to the United States’ various international free trade agreements. See 74 Federal Register 68907 (December 29, 2009). The changes to the dollar thresholds are effective through the end of 2011, so it is doubtful that we will see any additional escalation until 2012. 
 


Continue Reading New 2010 Updates to Buy American and Trade Agreements Dollar Thresholds; Buy American Requirements Remain Elusive and Complicated

The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act’s bid protest bar precluded contractors from challenging the award of a task or delivery order, subject to several limited exceptions — i.e., if the task or delivery order increased the scope, period or maximum value of the underlying IDIQ contract. Recent amendments to the Act expanded GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction to include challenges to task or delivery order awards valued at over $10 million. These amendments also provided for enhanced competition procedures for task or delivery order awards valued in excess of $5 million, but did not vest GAO or the Court of Federal Claims with jurisdiction to entertain bid protests based on alleged violations of those procedures. Thus, contractors seeking redress for agency errors in connection with the award of task or delivery orders valued at under $10 million were for the most part "out of luck."
 


Continue Reading COFC Endorses CDA Claim For Breach Of “Fair Opportunity To Be Considered”

As the closing time for receipt of proposals approaches, controlled chaos starts to take over. For one reason or another, changes may be made to your Company’s proposal that prevent it from putting its best foot forward. You are certain that the proposal meets the Solicitation requirements, but you also believe that one section of the proposal could have been better developed. While you would have liked further to have revised the proposal, you were forced to make sacrifices due to time constraints. You nevertheless were hopeful that the shortcomings would be addressed during discussions and in your final proposal revision (FPR). After several hectic days of red team review, your Company’s proposal is submitted to the agency in the nick of time.
 


Continue Reading Not-So Meaningful Discussions: The Hidden Peril of a “Good” Proposal

In early July, we discussed that fact that Taiwan would soon be an approved country of origin for purposes of the Trade Agreements Act.  This was, in our view, good news and a welcome development.


Continue Reading The Moment of Truth Has Arrived — “Made In Taiwan” Now Qualifies Under the TAA

As part of the much ballyhooed Stimulus Act signed into law on February 17, 2009 (discussed in detail here), Congressman Lawrence “Larry” Kissell (D-NC) introduced an amendment titled, “the Berry Amendment Extension Act,” which placed domestic source restrictions on the purchase of certain fabric and textile products by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). See Pub. L. No. 111-5, § 604 (codified at 6 U.S.C. § 453b).


Continue Reading DHS Publishes New Rules Expanding Berry Amendment to Most DHS Procurements

The Administration has conceded that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) has not worked as planned. With unemployment numbers continuing to climb, the Administration now acknowledges it “misread the economy.” But from the beginning not everyone believed ARRA would achieve the desired stimulative effect. After all, $787 billion cannot be disbursed without some complication.
 


Continue Reading The President Admits the Stimulus Is Not Working as Hoped. Well, Duh.

On June 16, 2009, Taiwan (aka Chinese Taipei) took the penultimate step in acceding to the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA), which will eventually grant Taiwan "free trade partner" status under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and allow companies selling to the U.S. Government to deliver products that are manufactured in Taiwan. The accession process is expected to be complete by July 15, 2009. After that date, and once the FAR is updated accordingly, "Made in Taiwan" will finally be an approved country of origin for products and services delivered to the U.S. Government.
 


Continue Reading Country of Origin – “Made In Taiwan” Will Soon Be TAA Compliant China Continues to Dawdle Costa Rica, Peru, and Oman also Recognized

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-5), known popularly by a variety of names, including “ARRA,” the “Recovery Act,” and the “Stimulus Act.” We have previously discussed many of the provisions relating to the Recovery Act at some length, especially the implementing regulations that were recently published this spring.
 


Continue Reading Recovery Act Update -U.S. Stimulus: “Buy American” PRC Stimulus: “Buy Chinese” Canada and WTO: “Not Pleased”