Final Defense Authorization Act Includes Made-in-USA Footwear
U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin announced Wednesday that the final 2017 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision championed by them that will require the Department of Defense to consider athletic footwear subject to the Berry Amendment by providing initial entry service members with American-made athlete shoes upon arrival at basic training.
The provision, which is set to be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate in the coming days, will be implemented over the course of the next two years and will support domestic manufacturing, protect jobs for dedicated American workers, including potentially hundreds in Maine, and help ensure that American troops are equipped and outfitted with high-quality uniform items made in the United States.
“This is a significant victory for American jobs and respected American manufacturers like New Balance who will now be able to compete for contracts to provide domestically produced athletic footwear to military recruits," Senators Collins and King and Representative Poliquin said in a joint statement.
The provision included in the final 2017 National Defense Authorization Act is similar to the Buy American Act introduced by Senators Collins and King and the Stepping up for American Workers and Troops Act introduced by Representative Poliquin. Both bills were introduced earlier this year.
“New Balance is proud to be the only major company that still makes athletic footwear in the United States. We are grateful that the U.S. House and Senate has again agreed that our military’s domestic purchasing requirements as stated by law need to be followed,” said Rob DeMartini, President and CEO, New Balance.