DOJ Collects Over $30 Million in Settlements of FCA Lawsuits Alleging Violations of the Buy American Act
According to Justice Department press releases, the United States has collected over $30 million in False Claims Act settlements over the past several years from companies alleged to have violated the Buy American Act (BAA) and the Trade Agreements Act (TAA).
The BAA was enacted in 1933 and modified by the TAA in 1979. The BAA and TAA generally require that materials used in the construction of public works or goods sold under government procurement contracts be made in the United States or certain TAA-designated countries. TAA-designated countries include those nations that enjoy reciprocal trade agreements with the U.S., such as Canada or Japan, and least developed countries, such as Afghanistan or Somalia.
The defendants in these lawsuits are alleged to have made false claims for payment by selling to the government products, such as office supplies, construction materials, fixtures, navigation equipment, and furniture, manufactured in China or other non-designated foreign countries. Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court for the Central District of California joined the First Circuit Court of Appeals and a D.C. District Court in permitting FCA claims to proceed on a theory based on alleged violations of the BAA or TAA.