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Notice of Buy America Waiver

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Notice of Buy America Waiver

O. Kevin Vincent
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
May 6, 2015

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 87 (Wednesday, May 6, 2015)]
[Pages 26142-26143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-10609]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0039]

Notice of Buy America Waiver

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Buy America waiver.


SUMMARY: This notice provides NHTSA's finding with respect to a request 
from the Connecticut Department of Transportation's Highway Safety 
Office (HSO) to waive the requirements of Buy America. NHTSA finds that 
a non-availability waiver is appropriate for HSO to purchase twenty-
three foreign-made training motorcycles using Federal grant funds 
because there are no suitable motorcycles produced in the United States 
for safety training purposes.

DATES: The effective date of this waiver is May 18, 2015. Written 
comments regarding this notice may be submitted to NHTSA and must be 
received on or before: May 21, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted using any one of the 
following methods:
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Fax: Written comments may be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
     Internet: To submit comments electronically, go to the 
Federal regulations Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All comments submitted in relation to this waiver 
must include the agency name and docket number. Please note that all 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You 
may also call the Docket at 202-366-9324.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program issues, contact Barbara 

[[Page 26143]]

Office of Regional Operations and Program Delivery, NHTSA (phone: 202-
366-0144). For legal issues, contact Andrew DiMarsico, Office of Chief 
Counsel, NHTSA (phone: 202-366-5263). You may send mail to these 
officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice provides NHTSA's finding that a 
waiver of the Buy America requirements, 23 U.S.C. 313, is appropriate 
for Connecticut's HSO to purchase twenty-three training motorcycles 
using grant funds authorized under 23 U.S.C. 405(f) (section 405) for 
training motorcycles. Section 405(f) funds are available for use by 
State Highway Safety Programs to implement effective programs to reduce 
the number of single and multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcyclists 
that, among other things, include supporting training of motorcyclists. 
23 U.S.C. 405(f).
    Buy America provides that NHTSA ``shall not obligate any funds 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out the Surface Transportation 
Assistance Act of 1982 (96 Stat. 2097) or [Title 23] and administered 
by the Department of Transportation, unless steel, iron, and 
manufactured products used in such project are produced in the United 
States.'' 23 U.S.C. 313. However, NHTSA may waive those requirements if 
(1) their application would be inconsistent with the public interest; 
(2) such materials and products are not produced in the United States 
in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory 
quality; or (3) the inclusion of domestic material will increase the 
cost of the overall project contract by more than 25 percent. 23 U.S.C. 
313(b). In this instance, NHTSA has determined a non-availability 
waiver is appropriate for the twenty-three training motorcycles because 
there is no sufficient product produced domestically that meets the 
needs of Connecticut's HSO.
    NHTSA recently granted a waiver to the Hawaii Department of 
Transportation's Motor Vehicle Safety Office, Highway Safety Section to 
purchase training motorcycles because the cost of domestically produced 
motorcycles is 25 percent more than the cost of foreign-made 
motorcycles. Connecticut's HSO request also meets the cost waiver 
conditions because purchasing the least expensive American alternative, 
Harley-Davidson Street 500, would increase the cost of the project more 
than 25 percent. However, this request should be categorized as a non-
availability waiver because American motorcycle manufacturers do not 
produce a motorcycle designed specifically with a smaller engine 
displacement (250 CC), which is consistent with motorcyclist training 
programs. As smaller engine displacement is common for training 
purposes and no American manufacturer produces motorcycles with this 
specification, then a non-availability waiver is appropriate in this 
    Connecticut's HSO seeks a waiver to purchase twenty-three Honda 
(CMX250) Rebel motorcycles at $4,055 per unit. The total purchase price 
for all twenty-three motorcycles is $93,265. Connecticut's training 
program is designed to expand motorcycle safety efforts. Connecticut 
asserts that this purchase will enhance its aging fleet of training 
motorcycles and accommodate the growing demand for training. HSO 
requires that its training bikes meet specific specifications. The 
engine displacement must be no less than one-hundred fifteen cubic 
centimeters and no more than two-hundred seventy-five cubic 
centimeters. Additionally, the motorcycles must have four stroke, 
electric start engines. HSO desires to use these motorcycles for its 
2015 Motorcycle Safety Training Program because they are designed 
specifically with smaller engine displacement (250 CC), low brake horse 
power, and an upright seating position with typical hand and foot 
controls, which is consistent with motorcyclist training programs. 
Connecticut, however, is unable to identify any training motorcycles 
that meet Buy America requirements. HSO researched motorcycle models 
made by three American motorcycle manufacturers, Harley-Davidson, Inc., 
Victory Motorcycles, and Indian Motorcycle. Harley-Davidson produces a 
500 CC motorcycle called the Street 500, with a MSRP of $6799. Victory 
Motorcycles and Indian Motorcycle produce a motorcycle with a much 
heavier and larger engine displacement than 500 CC, with the lowest 
MSRP of $12,499 for the Victory Vegas 8-ball motorcycle and the lowest 
MSRP of $10,999 for the Indian Scout. Connecticut's experience with 
motorcycles with a 500 CC engine displacement is that the bikes, in 
general, over power beginning riders and do not provide an appropriate 
upright position for these riders. HSO was unable to find a motorcycle 
that meets the requirements for training motorcycles that also meets 
the Buy America requirements. NHTSA is unaware of any other domestic 
motorcycle manufacturers other than Harley-Davidson, Victory, and 
Indian. As these manufacturers do not sell a motorcycle that meets 
standard requirements for motorcycle safety training purposes, a Buy 
America waiver is appropriate. NHTSA invites public comment on this 
    In light of the above discussion, and pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 
313(b)(3), NHTSA finds that it is appropriate to grant a waiver from 
the Buy America requirements to HSO in order to purchase twenty-three 
Honda (CMX250) Rebel motorcycles. This waiver applies to Connecticut 
and all other States seeking to use section 405 funds to purchase these 
motorcycles for the purposes mentioned herein. This waiver will 
continue through fiscal year 2015 and will allow the purchase of these 
items as required for Connecticut's HSO and its training programs. 
Accordingly, this waiver will expire at the conclusion of fiscal year 
2015 (September 30, 2015). In accordance with the provisions of Section 
117 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity 
Act: A Legacy of Users Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-
244, 122 Stat. 1572), NHTSA is providing this notice as its finding 
that a waiver of the Buy America requirements is appropriate for 
certain Honda motorcycles. Written comments on this finding may be 
submitted through any of the methods discussed above. NHTSA may 
reconsider these findings, if through comment, it learns of and can 
confirm the existence of a comparable domestically made product to the 
item granted a waiver.
    This finding should not be construed as an endorsement or approval 
of any products by NHTSA or the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 
United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 313; Pub. L. 110-161.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 29, 2015, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.95.
O. Kevin Vincent,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-10609 Filed 5-5-15; 8:45 am]

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