The Berry Amendment supports American manufacturing, however not many people outside of the manufacturing industry or the government have heard of it. The Berry Amendment restricts the DoD (Department of Defense) from purchasing “food, clothing, fabrics, fibers, yarns, other made-up textiles, and hand or measuring tools that are not grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the United States.” Originally passed during WWII, it was made permanent in 1994 and codified in 2002.
Through the years many extensions and exemptions have been added to the amendment, however, at its core, the Berry Amendment supports American manufacturers and enables them to fulfill the military’s needs from domestic sources. Although the global marketplace has expanded greatly since WWII, legislation such as this continues to promote American manufacturing.
As recently as this past spring, the Berry Amendment was once again in the news. The latest National Defense Authorization Act funding bill contains language that would force the DoD to only purchase athletic footwear made in the United States from domestic materials and components for military recruits. This has been met with criticism from some footwear manufacturers, the Pentagon, and select government officials claiming that the change in policy would restrict choice, increase costs to U.S. taxpayers, and possibly cause injury to military personnel by limiting their choice of running shoes. Proponents of the bill however, believe that fostering a Made in America athletic shoe for the military could lead to a revival of the footwear industry in this country.
We understand how the Berry Amendment supports the military and we are against changes that will loosen the restrictions. The requirements of this law keep the U.S. economy stronger. As a leading American textile manufacturer, Apex Mills has been developing, manufacturing, and supplying breakthrough products since 1943. Our industrial knitted fabrics, made in our North Carolina facility, have been incorporated into a wide range of industrial and consumer products including military grade vests, airplanes, orthopedic slings, life jackets, home furnishings, and performance footwear, many of which fall under the Amendment.
We have heard many politicians speak about growing the manufacturing base here at home. Upholding the Berry Amendment protects our industry and supports American businesses. Ensuring high-quality materials and products is the goal of Apex Mills, and we are always proud to be Made in America! For more information about Apex Mills, visit www.apexmills.com.