Mike Michaud knows where the military can pick up some American-made sneakers

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/23/2013

The Berry Amendment. This law, established in 1941, directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to favor American-made textile products when equipping U.S. troops.

Spending money on U.S.-made goods, the logic goes, is an easy way to support the domestic economy and manufacturing jobs.

But government procurement rhetoric sometimes talks the talk more than it walks the walk, and you can pick out a lot of loopholes in more than 70 years. The $75 allotment soldiers receive from DOD to purchase footwear is one of them. For some odd reason, that allotment is allowed to skirt the Berry rules by allowing that military money to go shoes made overseas.

Some lawmakers are trying to tie that loophole up. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME), has been pointing out that some shoes made by New Balance are fully compliant with Berry. And he even sent a pair of American-made kicks to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman to drive the point home. Check 'em out:

Very cool kicks. Yes. These kicks are cool. Read the letter that Michaud sent along with the shoes right here.

Image from Rep. Michaud's flickr page.

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