by Kendall Howard
on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:45:00 AM
TAA stands for the Trade Agreement Act. Enacted in 1979,
this is an act of Congress that governs trade agreements negotiated between the
United States and other countries in regards to….you guessed it, trades. TAA
compliancy applies to U.S. government acquisitions over a certain dollar
threshold, for the purchase of supplies or services. Ok, now that I’ve sounded super
official in my explanation, I will tell you, in layman’s terms, what that
means. Basically TAA tells the government that for large scale purchases of
products and services, they may only buy U.S. made products, or products from
designated countries that we have special contracts in place.
Now, you think that would mean U.S. manufacturing would be
booming! Well, like any act, tax or law, there are a lot of exceptions and loopholes
around this act. For instance, the act only protects projects that reach
a certain dollar figure. This changes with time and I believe the last figure I
saw was projects more than $208,000. For many government procurements, my guess
is this number is conservative and it is easily surpassed.
And what of those designated countries? There are a lot of
them and the list continues to grow every year. Here are the countries that are
considered TAA compliant.
Lastly, one of the biggest loopholes I see is that the TAA
stipulates that the “end product” must be manufactured or substantially
transformed in the United States or one of those designated countries. Substantially
transformed? I looked into what that means, and as far as I can tell, that it is
determined on a case by case basis, but could simply mean changing the name of
Up until 1979, TAA’s cousin BAA (Buy American Act), which
was signed in in 1933 by former President Herbert Hoover, required the U.S.
government to prefer only U.S. made products during the bid and procurement
processes. (Don’t confuse this with the Buy America Act that was implemented in
1982. The Buy America Act governs mass-transit related procurements.)Although BAA only called for preferential
treatment, it didn’t stipulate more than 100 other countries to consider as
equal to the United States. This act still exists, however TAA supersedes
Now, even though I wish the TAA had a larger incentive or
push to acquire products made right here in the U.S. and less from overseas, there
is a substantial benefit to purchasing TAA compliant products.For instance, these agreements that the U.S.
has in place with other TAA approved countries help to regulate materials and
humane practices for products the government purchases. But at Kendall Howard,
we make it simple. No need to worry if your product has been manufactured or
substantially transformed in a TAA approved country because all products are
TAA compliant! When you buy Kendall Howard products, you know you are buying a
product made right here in the USA!
Any questions, comments or concerns?Or do you need a certificate of origin to
submit with your next GSA or government bid contract? Send us an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we would
be more than happy to help!