Now US Congress buys only ‘Made in America’ goods

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: After a visa fee hike for professionals and Ohio’s ban on outsourcing, the US House of Representatives has passed two bills stipulating the Congress and the Department of Homeland Security buy only goods made in the US.

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Passed Wednesday, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s Made in America Act mandates Congress to purchase only US-made goods and services, while Larry Kissell’s Berry Amendment Extension Act directs the Department of Homeland Security and all of its agencies to purchase clothing and other products exclusively made in America on a permanent basis.

“In passing these bills, we reaffirm that when we make it in America, we create jobs, promote our competitiveness and lead the world economy,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“Democrats will continue to move our nation forward to prosperity for the middle class. Democrats are committed to ‘Making it in America,’ while Republicans are standing with corporations that that ship American jobs overseas,” she said.

“The brave men and women of the Department of Homeland Security deserve to be equipped and outfitted in uniforms made by our proud American workers,” said Kissell. “We can protect our American economy while also protecting our national security and borders. The only way to ensure this is the case is to make these items right here at home.”

“For the last 60 years, the Berry Amendment has served our nation well, and its expansion to the Department of Homeland Security will further benefit American manufacturing,” he added.

The Berry Amendment, originally enacted in 1941, requires the Department of Defence to procure a range of domestically produced or grown items with 100 percent US content.

The legislation has been supported by many groups, including the American Manufacturing Trade Act Coalition, the National Textile Association, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Cotton Council and the United States Industrial Fabrics Association International.

It is estimated that for every $10 million spent annually, the US government will create or save 500 badly needed US manufacturing and other jobs, said Auggie Tantillo, Executive Director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.

“Congressman Kissell’s ‘buy-US’ legislation will provide a shot in the arm to America’s economy that has suffered more than 5.6 million US manufacturing jobs losses in the last decade,” Tantillo said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected] )