While it would be a reasonable assumption that military personnel would purchase clothing items, such as shoes, that are manufactured in the US, that’s actually not the case.
The Army, Navy, and Air Force provide cash vouchers to new recruits to purchase athletic footwear, without any preference for domestically manufactured products.
Well the Department of Defense (DoD) announced on April 28 that it would give precedence to U.S. manufacturers when making taxpayer funded procurements for athletic footwear.
“American taxpayer dollars should be spent supporting the American economy,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Brown. “The Defense Department’s decision will strengthen U.S. manufacturing. The Administration should continue to endorse ‘Buy American’ provisions which create jobs while supporting our service members.”
The purchase of domestic shoes would fall under The Berry Amendment, which is a statutory requirement that restricts the Department of Defense (DoD) from using funds appropriated or otherwise available to DoD for procurement of 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.
Currently DoD purchases American-made combat boots, service shoes, and nearly every other uniform type in bulk for initial entry recruits, so it would only make sense to include athletic footwear as well.
The law is different for non-defense agencies that requires purchased textile products to be 51% American made and Brown’s Wear American Act would require all textile products purchased by federal agencies to be made in the United States.
The senator pointed out that the federal government, in fact, spends more than $1.5 billion a year on foreign-made products.