Made In America Amendment Helps US Manufacturers

US textile manufacturers believe a
tightening of the Made in America requirements for Department of Defense procurement will create
new markets for them. The recently enacted Berry Amendment to the Defense Department authorization
bill will require defense agencies to notify Congress and issue a public notice if they intend to
obtain clothing or other items from foreign suppliers. Since the previous Berry amendment was
non-binding policy, government procurement officials have been looking more and more to overseas
suppliers. Under the new law, the Secretary of Defense now must notify Congress within seven days
if it awards a contract to a foreign manufacturer. The secretary also must post a public notice on
the Internet, which will give domestic manufacturers an opportunity to show they can provide the

The new language also expands the types of textile products that will be covered under the
act. Karl Spilhaus, president of the National Textile Association, many of whose members supply the
military and would like to do more business, said the transparency required under the new amendment
will enable companies to monitor Defense Department contracts more closely and afford domestic
manufacturers with opportunities to supply goods for the armed forces. It is estimated that the
Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia purchased some $2.5 billion in clothing and textile products
in fiscal year 2005. 

January 2006