Will DoD adhere to Buy America requirements on shoes and underwear?

Posted by scapozzola on 06/26/2013

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

But as Kathleen Miller reports for Bloomberg News, the U.S. government has skirted some of these requirements in recent years.

Specifically, Miller reports that the U.S. Army provides recruits with cash allowances to buy sneakers and women’s underwear.  The problem is that these cash vouchers can be used to purchase shoes and underwear that come from other countries, including China.

That may change soon, however, with the House of Representatives voting this month to require the Pentagon to give recruits American-made athletic shoes.  The move was led by strong lobbying from domestic shoe manufacturer New Balance, with help from Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME).

“It’s the law and it should be complied with, not circumvented,” said U.S. Representative Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat who co-sponsored the measure and has New Balance factories in his state. “Purchases made by the U.S. government should benefit our domestic economy.”

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