The Berry Amendment is a cornerstone of United States legislation that has profoundly supported American manufacturing for over eight decades – but not many people outside of the manufacturing industry or the government may have heard of it.
The Berry Amendment places limitations on the Department of Defense (DoD) regarding the procurement of certain items. It prohibits the DoD from purchasing foreign:
Hand or measuring tools
Other made-up textiles
These items are only allowed if they are grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced within the United States. This requirement ensures that the DoD prioritizes domestic sourcing for these specific product categories.
The Berry Amendment offers businesses several benefits that enhance growth, competitiveness, and long-term sustainability. Apex Mills is a prime example of an American manufacturer thriving under this legislation.
One key advantage of the Berry Amendment is that it creates a level playing field for U.S. manufacturers. By requiring certain products used by the DoD to be produced within the United States, the legislation eliminates unfair advantages of international competitors who may offer cheaper alternatives without the same quality or safety standards. This requirement helps American manufacturers to compete fairly and encourages domestic production and innovation.
By establishing a reliable domestic supply chain, companies can confidently invest in infrastructure, technology, and workforce development, knowing that their investments will be supported by consistent demand from the DoD. This stability allows for long-term planning and risk management, empowering businesses to make informed decisions and pursue growth opportunities.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 contains language that requires the DoD to only purchase athletic footwear for military recruits made in the United States from domestic materials and components. This inclusion of the Berry Amendment has faced criticism from certain footwear manufacturers, the Pentagon and specific government officials. They argue that this policy change would impose limitations on choices, raise costs for U.S. taxpayers and potentially jeopardize the well-being of military personnel by restricting their options for 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.
Named after Representative Ellis Yarnal Berry, the origins of the Berry Amendment can be traced back to the early 1940s during World War II when the United States faced challenges in ensuring the availability of essential goods for its armed forces.
Recognizing the need to maintain a reliable and secure supply chain, Congress introduced legislation to mandate the procurement of certain goods from domestic sources. These provisions aimed to reduce dependence on foreign suppliers, enhance national security and stimulate the domestic manufacturing industry.
Over the years, the Berry Amendment underwent several revisions, further strengthening its impact. In 1941, it initially focused on textiles and clothing items for the military then expanded to cover additional products like footwear, hand tools and certain metals in later years.
Despite updated extensions and exemptions, the core purpose of the Berry Amendment remains consistent — supporting American manufacturers and fulfilling the military’s requirements through domestic sources. With the vast expansion of global commerce since World War II, legislation like the Berry Amendment continues to play a vital role in promoting and prioritizing American manufacturing.
Apex Mills, a prominent leader in American manufacturing, stands as a firm supporter of the Berry Amendment. As a family owned American textile manufacturer, Apex Mills has been developing, manufacturing and supplying breakthrough products since 1943. Our industrial knitted fabrics, made in our North Carolina and Virginia facilities, are integrated within a wide range of military, 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.
Beyond economic considerations, Apex Mills firmly supports the Berry Amendment as a means to insure national security and resilience. By sourcing goods within the United States, we reduce reliance on potentially vulnerable foreign suppliers, mitigating risks associated with supply chain disruptions or geopolitical uncertainties. This strategic approach enhances our ability to consistently deliver products that meet the defense sector’s stringent requirements while securing the integrity of the nation’s supply chains.
As we look to the future, businesses, policymakers, and consumers recognize the critical role played by the Berry Amendment in advancing self-reliance, economic vitality, and national security. By understanding and supporting this legislation, we can collectively drive the growth of American manufacturing, create job opportunities, and reinforce the resilience of our supply chains.
Apex Mills is a leading provider of high-quality textiles. We are dedicated to serving American industries and public service sectors with excellence and precision. With a rich history of manufacturing expertise spanning over 80 years, we have become a trusted partner for businesses and organizations in the military, public service, health care and aerospace, offering innovative solutions that meet the unique demands of these critical sectors.
Auxetic Fabric Constructions – Do not thin out when stretched and offer improved fit, reduced wrinkling with more uniform compression.
Capacitive Touch Sensor Fabric Constructions – Smart textiles that can connect to an interphase devise used in healthcare, military, sportswear among other applications.
Celliant Yarns – Infused with minerals that are activated by body temperature to promote healing and wellness.
Carbon Yarns – Provide conductive, capacitive characteristics and are also used in static dissipation.
Graphene-infused Yarns – That can be antimicrobial, reflective, heat reducing, and odor neutralizing.
Continued support for the Berry Amendment protects our industry and supports American businesses. Producing high-quality materials and products is the goal of Apex Mills, and we are always proud to be Made in America!
By partnering with Apex Mills and advocating for policies prioritizing domestic sourcing, you promote job growth, innovation, and the continued success of American businesses. Contact us today to learn how we can create textiles for your sector.