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    I feel this is not compliant with the BAA because the CADDY SPEED LINK wire labeled, "Made in China" and this item that is similarly produced in America. The fact this is potentially assembled in American is also not convincing, as these are just separate parts that can easily be purchased separately at a local hardware store and then put in box, in attempt to claim, assembled in a America. Is it reasonable to not accept this "kit" because it is not in compliance with the BAA? When an item is questioned whether it meets the BAA, is it reasonable and sufficient for the ACO to accept a sales persons explanation confirming BAA compliance on manufacturers letter head? To what are we obligated to investigate?


    Answer

    The Buy American Statute (note that it is no longer called an "Act") has a two part test. First, the item must be manufactured in the United States. Second, the cost of domestic components must exceed 50 percent of the cost of all the components. It appears that the kit you describe may not meet at least the first part of the test. The following is excerpted from this GAO ruling on a protest relating to Buy American:

    "Although assembly of components can constitute manufacture, we have recognized that limited domestic assembly or manufacturing operations which do not alter the essential nature of a component which is the core or essence of the end product being procured may not be used to circumvent the plain requirement of the Buy American Act that the end product be manufactured substantially all from domestic articles, material or supplies."


    Based on this GAO judgment, simply "assembling" components in the U.S. does not mean they are manufactured in the U.S. for purposes of meeting the requirements of the Buy American Statute. Also note that it is not sufficient for a contracting officer to accept a supplier's affirmation of Buy American compliance. The contracting officer must use his or her knowledge and judgment, based on the facts.

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