The Buy American Act is more than 75 years old. Passed by the U.S. Congress in 1933, the Act requires the U. S. government to purchase U.S. made products. As stated in '25.001 General' section of the Buy American Act, "This act restricts the purchase of supplies that are not domestic-end products for use within the United States."

At Design Hardware and Mesker Door, we fully support the Buy American Act with our U.S. manufacturing. But we acknowledge that balancing American's global competitiveness while supporting U.S. manufacturing is not simple. So here, we directly address the Buy American Act, detailing how Design Hardware products qualify for most federal, state or military building projects.

Four exemptions in the Buy American Act allow some foreign made products to comply with that act, including some of our Design Hardware products. Those four principle exemptions are:

  1. Unreasonable cost
  2. Insufficient quantities
  3. Trade agreement preferences
  4. Substantial Transformation

We’ll briefly explain each of them, and then provide links to documents that will help you certify that your Design Hardware or Mesker Door products qualify for U.S. government projects under the Buy American Act.

1. Unreasonable Costs – A U.S. government purchaser may buy another product if the price of a comparable U.S. made product is deemed "unreasonable", and that's defined as costing 6 percent or more than a foreign made product. Again in that '25.001 General' section, The Buy American Act states that "a foreign end product may be purchased if the contracting officer determines that the price of the lowest domestic offer is unreasonable or if another exception applies (see Subpart 25.1)" For access to a form that helps you certify your Design Hardware products qualify under this exemption, click Unreasonable Costs Waiver. And to access an example form that demonstrates how to fill out each of the waiver forms, just click Example Form.

2. Insufficient Quantities — A U.S. government purchaser may buy a product if a comparable U.S. made product is not available in sufficient quantities to meet reasonable deadlines.

That provision is referred to in the Buy American Act as the "exemption by reason of sufficient quantities". Because Design Hardware uses its U.S. based sourcing and distribution strategically, our products can provide you timely sufficient quantities anywhere in the U.S. Our products that qualify under the Buy American Act as "exemptions of by reason of sufficient quantities" and "exemptions by reason of unreasonable cost" are:

• Closers arrow 416 Series 316 Series 116 Series 73 Series  
• Lock arrow M Series Z Series X Series V Series  
  I Series K Series L3T Series D1/D2 Series  
• Exit Device arrow 1000 Series 2000 Series 1000/2000 Trim    
• Hinges arrow BB5 Series HW BB5 Series Spring Series    
• Flat Goods & Accessories arrow Door Stops Push/Pull/Kickplates Door Viewers  

Certifying your Design Hardware products under "exemptions of by reason of sufficient quantities" requires a Certificate of Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Item form, also referred to as a COTS Waiver. Access it by clicking the underlined link. And to access an example form that demonstrates how to fill out each of the waiver forms, just click Example Form.

3. Trade Agreement Preferences — A U.S. government purchaser may buy a foreign made product if that comes from a country that falls under the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA). Taiwan is one of those countries that falls under the WTO GPA. So, the Design Hardware products that quality under this Buy American Act exemption are:

• Exit Devices arrow 1000 Series 2000 Series 1000/2000 Trim    
• Flat Goods & Accessories arrow Door Stops Push/Pull/Kickplates Door Viewers Flush Bolts  

For access to a form that helps you certify your Design Hardware products qualify under this exemption, just click Trade Agreements Waiver. And to access an example form that demonstrates how to fill out each of the waiver forms, just click Example Form.

4. Substantial Transformation — This is not actually a separate exemption set out in the Buy American Act. Substantial Transformation pertains to the Trade Preferences exemption. If a foreign made product is shipped to the U.S. and is then substantially transformed, then that product qualifies under the Buy American Act. The Design Hardware products that qualify under this exception are:

• Locks arrow M Series        

To certify that your products meet this exception, use the Trade Agreements Waiver. And to access an example form that demonstrates how to fill out each of the waiver forms, just click Example Form.


For more information:

Please call our National Sales Manager, Joe Lopez, 704-728-7108, and 877-888-0150 to fax.



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