The NCTO recently applauded Congress for preserving critical requirements that require the Department of Defense to purchase U.S.-made clothing, textiles and footwear.
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a defense appropriations bill amendment that would have allowed DOD to fund the purchases of internationally-made athletic sneakers and ultimately ignore the Berry Amendment, a law that requires DOD to purchase domestically-made goods, including apparel, shoes, textiles, measuring tools and food. NCTO voted “No” as well on the proposed amendment.
Many members of Congress also advocated for the Berry Amendment’s protection. U.S. Representatives Walter Jones (R-North Carolina), Niki Tsongas (D-Massachusetts) defended the Berry Amendment by proposing legislation with the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). U.S. Senator Lindsey Grahan (R-South Carolina) also supported the Berry Amendment during consideration of the NDAA. Other senators that were pro-Berry Amendment included Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) and Angus King (I-Maine).
Laws such as the Berry Amendment do benefit DOD, but they also build America’s job market and protect the nation against foreign conflict.
“Laws requiring DOD to buy U.S.-made textiles, clothing, and footwear are pro-jobs and strengthen America’s national security,” NCTO president and chief executive officer Augustine Tantillo said.
Last year, 592,000 people were employed in the U.S. clothing, footwear and textile supply chain. DOD also obtains more than 8,000 different textile items and more than 30,000 line items for the U.S. military and other armed forces branches.
Tantillo also said that the U.S. textile industry will continue to work with Congressional members on preserving the Berry Amendment and other legislation that would require DOD to buy goods on domestic soil.
“The U.S. textile industry looks forward to working with our friends in the House and Senate to make sure the Berry Amendment is kept whole as Congress completes its work on important legislation to authorize and fund America’s armed forces,” he said.