In a Presidential Memorandum issued January 24, 2017, President Trump directed the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan within 180 days to require that pipelines in the United States use materials and equipment produced in the United States “to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.” The plan will extend to newly constructed pipelines as well as to those that are “retrofitted, repaired and expanded . . . inside the borders of the United States.”
With respect to iron or steel products, the Memorandum makes it clear that all stages of the manufacturing process must occur in the United States. The Memorandum states:
“Produced in the United States” shall mean:
(i) With regard to iron or steel products, that all manufacturing processes for such iron or steel products, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, occurred in the United States.
(ii) Steel or iron material or products manufactured abroad from semi-finished steel or iron from the United States are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.
(iii) Steel or iron material or products manufactured in the United States from semi-finished steel or iron of foreign origin are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.
The notions that iron and steel products must be manufactured in the United States and that all of the manufacturing processes must occur in the United States are not new. Substantially similar requirements are used in the “Buy America” provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. See 49 U.S.C. § 5323(j). The Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have used this approach for state and local highway and transit projects funded wholly or partially with federal funds. See, e.g., 49 C.F.R. § 661.5.