ALSTOM Transportation Inc.
1 Transit Drive
Hornell, NY 14843
Re: Request for Buy America Waivers – Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistor and "Arpege" Truck Axle Bridge
Dear Mr. Stentiford:
This letter responds to your May 20 and June 4, 2008, requests for Buy America waivers for an Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistor (IGBT) and an “Arpege” Truck Axle Bridge, for use in Low Floor Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) that Alstom Transportation Inc. (Alstom) intends to supply to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (Houston METRO). For the reasons below, I have decided to grant your request with respect to the IGBT but deny your request with respect to the Arpege Truck Axle Bridge.
Under 49 U.S.C. 5323(j), FTA may not obligate funds for a project unless all iron, steel, and manufactured products used in the project are produced in the United States. FTA may waive its Buy America requirements if the materials for which a waiver is requested are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality.
According to your letters, Alstom plans to respond to a request from Houston METRO by offering its Citadis 100% Low Floor LRVs, and these Citadis LRVs utilize two items that are not manufactured in the United States—a high power IGBT manufactured in Europe and Japan for creation of the waveform and control of traction power voltage and frequency, and an Arpege Truck Axle Bridge that is manufactured by Renault in France.
FTA’s engineers have confirmed Alston’s assertion that the IGBT is not available from a domestic source. Because the IGBT is not manufactured in the United States, I hereby grant you a waiver for this item pursuant to 49 CFR 661.7(c). This waiver is limited to the procurement at hand. Accordingly, Alstom may count the IGBT as domestic content for purposes of Buy America compliance under this procurement.
However, with respect to a low floor truck axle bridge, FTA’s engineers have informed me that a similar product is available from one or more U.S. sources. For this reason, I must deny your request that FTA waive its Buy America requirements for the Arpege Truck Axle Bridge. You demonstrated that Renault is unwilling to manufacture its Aprege Truck Axle Bridge in the United States, but you have not provided evidence of non-availability—that a similar item is not manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality. I will reconsider my decision if you can provide such evidence.
Feel free to contact Jayme L. Blakesley at (202) 366-0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
 49 CFR 661.5(a).
 49 CFR 661.7(c).