Commerce Department Issues Information For Military Procurement

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has created a website designed to help textile and apparel
companies supply products for the military — a market that amounts to more than $2 billion
annually. A law known as the Berry Amendment restricts the Department of Defense (DOD) from using
appropriated funds to procure textiles and apparel and other products from foreign manufacturers if
those products are available from domestic sources. The DOC says the Berry Amendment has been
critical in maintaining the safety and security of the armed forces and also is “essential to the
viability of the textile and clothing production base in the United States.”

The new website,, provides details in seven areas related to
procurement: implementation of the Berry Amendment; application of the amendment; exceptions to the
amendment; domestic non-availability determinations; currently approved determinations; penalties
for non-compliance with the amendment; and a list of contacts and references.

Matt Priest, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for textiles and apparel, said the
website will be “a one-stop-shop for information to help members of industry navigate the
complexities of the Berry Amendment.”

In a related effort, trade associations representing suppliers to the military have been
working with DOD procurement officials in order to iron out some of the problems involved in the
supply process. This ongoing process is addressing issues such as price changes when costs
unexpectedly go up or down, fluctuations in minimum and maximum orders, standardization of colors,
and forecasting needs. As a result of the war in Iraq and other national security efforts, the
needs of the military have changed, and the industry, in cooperation with the military, is making a
major effort to meet those needs. Industry officials say considerable progress is being made in
that regard.

December 11, 2007