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Congressmen Work On Expansion Of Buy American

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Congressmen from textile states have won House of Representatives approval of an amendment to the Defense Department Procurement Authorization that could lead to requiring members of the armed forces to buy American apparel. The amendment -- sponsored by Reps. Larry Kissell, D-N.C.; Howard Coble, R-N.C.; and Mike Michaud, D-Maine -- calls for the General Accountability Office (GAO) to do a study to determine if there is sufficient domestic supply of items purchased by soldiers' uniform allowances and report its findings back to the Armed Services Committee, which then could consider requiring such purchases to be made in the United States. The amendment would cover a cash allowance that is used to buy items that soldiers are required to have but are not directly issued by the Department of Defense. The amendment does not name any specific products, but items subject to the amendment will be spelled out in the GAO report.

Calling it a "common sense amendment," Kissell said, "If we can get these items made in America, it will support U.S. industries, hopefully create jobs and allow the members of our armed forces to take pride in the American-made items they wear."

May 4, 2010