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RRIF Domestic Preference (“RRIF Buy America”) Information and Notice of Waiver Requests

The purpose of this web page is to provide the public with (1) information about FRA’s RRIF Buy America policy and (2) a notice and comment opportunity regarding RRIF Buy America waiver requests.

As stated in its 2010 RRIF Policy Notice:

“FRA will expect recipients of direct loans or loan guarantees under the RRIF Program to agree to use funds provided to them under the RRIF Program to purchase steel, iron and other manufactured goods produced in the United States for the project.” Notice Regarding Consideration and Processing of Applications for Financial Assistance under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program, 75 Fed. Reg. 60165 (September 29, 2010).

As explained in the notice, FRA’s RRIF Buy America policy furthers two of the RRIF program’s eight priorities described in 45 U.S.C. 822(c): (3) Promote economic development, and (4) Enable U.S. companies to be more competitive in international markets.

RRIF Buy America means that the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in projects funded by RRIF must be produced in the United States.  This requirement includes the purchase of new or existing goods, or the refinance of assets, including rolling stock and railroad infrastructure.

If the applicant’s project includes the financing or refinancing of assets not produced in the U.S., then the applicant can submit a waiver request.  Waivers may be granted if FRA finds that:

  • The steel, iron, and goods produced in the U.S. are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality;
  • Rolling stock or power train equipment cannot be bought and delivered in the U.S. within a reasonable time;
  • Including domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent; and/or
  • Applying the RRIF Buy America policy would be inconsistent with the public interest.

If you require more information about RRIF Buy America, please contact John Johnson, Attorney-Advisor, FRA Office of Chief Counsel, at John.Johnson@dot.gov or 202-493-0078.

If you need information about FRA's Buy America policy for its High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program, please click here.

RRIF Buy America Waiver Notice, Comment and Review Process

For all RRIF waiver requests, FRA will post notice of a waiver request on this web page and solicit public comments on whether to grant a waiver.  FRA will also post notice of its decision to grant a waiver.  The effective date of the waiver will follow the public comment period(s). 

Each RRIF Buy America waiver request that is currently open for public comment is listed below under the section "Initial Waiver Request for Comment" or "Waiver Request Granted for Comment", as applicable. To view the information related to any particular waiver request, click on the appropriate link and follow the directions for submitting a comment.

Initial Waiver Request for Comment

  • None at this time.

Waiver Request Granted for Comment

  • None at this time.

Completed Waivers

(For informational purposes only. Comment period closed.)

 

Contact Us

Mr. John Johnson,
Attorney-Advisor 

Phone 202-493-0078

Enauk john.johnson@dot.gov

  • Contact us
  • Federal Railroad Administration
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC 20590
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