Manufacturing Savvy

Politicians Don't Miss a Beat -- American Apparel Should be 100%

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) quickly jumped on the "Made in America" bandwagon following the drama over the Olympic uniforms being made in China.

So a few days ago he introduced  the "Wear American Act of 2012" -- a "Buy America" plan to ensure that the federal government purchases apparel that is 100% American made.

While you might have thought that to be already the case, it turns out that currently "Buy America" statutes require that only 51% of these products purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars be "made in America."

The current rules require that textile and apparel articles acquired for use by federal agencies be manufactured from articles, materials, or supplies entirely grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States.

At stake is the very existence of manufacturing.

"Manufacturing helped make this country great. Good-paying manufacturing jobs have allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to buy homes, send their children to college, and retire with security. But for too long, we've seen American manufacturing jobs—including textile and apparel jobs—shipped overseas due to unfair trade that has stacked the deck against American workers," Brown said.

"We know how to make things in America, and the textile sector employs more than half a million workers in the United States—which is why the federal government should be purchasing, whenever possible, apparel that is domestically produced. With our widening trade deficit, we should be doing everything we can to support American manufacturing and job creation."

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