Entries in Made in America (4)


Defense Department Pushed to Buy 'Made in America' Military Uniforms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, wrote a letter to the Department of Defense requesting that it comply with a rule that requires military service members to wear clothes made in the U.S.

"If it's taxpayer dollars, it should help American workers and American businesses, pure and simple," Brown told ABC News.

In the letter dated Oct. 17 and addressed to Frank Kendall, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Brown asked why some Air Force service members deployed to Afghanistan were twice issued Chinese-made boots and were only able to receive a pair of American-made boots after the Air Force Times reported the story.

A spokesman for Kendall told ABC News: "Our policy has been and will continue to be to purchase combat boots and other articles of military clothing that are made in the U.S."

Since 1941, the Berry Amendment has required the Department of Defense to give preference to clothing and other items made in the U.S.

An Air Force spokeswoman told the newspaper that the Berry Amendment did not apply for purchases under $150,000.

In his letter, Sen. Brown questioned the law's language that allows for waivers and asked if the Defense Department violated its policies.

"Our service members should not be given equipment manufactured in other countries when domestic options exist," Brown wrote.  "Our men and women in uniform are fighting for their country, and deserve to fight in quality uniforms and boots that are made in the U.S.A."

Earlier this month, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, also drafted a letter to Kendall about the Berry Amendment.

"There's no justifiable explanation for issuing foreign-made uniforms when there are American manufacturers who can make high quality items for everyday military use," Hunter told ABC News.  "Our military not only defends American interests but it represents American interests and it's definitely in the national interest to have a military that directly supports domestic manufacturers."

About 40 bipartisan lawmakers are in the process of signing the letter and plan to send it to Kendall soon.

"We should not rely on other countries, particularly those who may have competing global interests, to supply our forces with basic items," Hunter and Michaud wrote.  "This is especially true when there are millions of Americans looking for work."

Brown said it is not clear if the Defense Department would be paying more or less for products in the U.S., but public support is in favor of using U.S. products, especially for groups representing the country.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Olympic Committee to Promise American Made Uniforms by 2014

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two sources tell ABC News the U.S. Olympic Committee is planning to announce it will change its policy so that U.S. Olympic uniforms are made in the USA by the next Olympics, in 2014

But nothing will be done about this year’s uniforms, which were made in China.

Read more about the controversy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lawmakers Want ‘Made in China’ US Olympic Uniforms Burned

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Lawmakers were outraged Thursday after an ABC World News report revealed that the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony outfits are made in China. Some suggested making a bonfire with the outfits, which include berets and blazers.

“I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.

Team USA will be marching into the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony wearing Ralph Lauren blazers and berets, much as they did four years ago when Lauren dressed them. ABC’s Sharyn Alfonsi reported Wednesday evening that every clothing item that the U.S. athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.

Reid said today that the U.S. Olympic committee should be “ashamed of themselves,” and “embarrassed,” that the items were made in China, especially when people in the textile industry in America are looking for jobs.

The Congressional reaction on Capitol Hill today extended to both houses and both parties.

“You’d think they know better,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH., said in response to a question from ABC News.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that since the Olympic athletes represent the very best in America they should be wearing uniforms made in America.

“They work so hard. They represent the very best, and they’re so excellent. It’s all so beautiful. And they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America.”

Already there is a movement on Capitol Hill to make changes so this does not happen again at future Olympic Games. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter Thursday morning to the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Lawrence Probst, calling this revelation “shocking and deeply disappointing” and asking all U.S. team’s uniforms be made in America in the future.

ABC News reached out to Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Olympic Committee Wednesday and asked why American-made clothing had not been selected for the athletes. The committee responded with a statement: “The U.S. Olympic team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors. We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Smithsonian Opening ‘Made in America’ Store This Week

Dynamic Graphics/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- This spring, ABC News kicked off its “Made in America” series with a startling report revealing that it’s almost impossible to buy an American-made souvenir at some of the nation’s highest-profile museums, including those in Washington operated by the Smithsonian Institution.

As part of that series, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., promised to press the Smithsonian to sell American-made products.

This week, he’s getting results: the Smithsonian is opening a new gift shop at the National Museum of American History that will feature exclusively American-made products.

“They are making some progress,” Sanders told ABC’s Top Line webcast Tuesday. “I was very upset in visiting the Smithsonian, and I love the Smithsonians -- they're great museums. Hope everybody visits them. But their gift shops were selling in very strong number products made in China and other countries.

“They are making some progress in getting American vendors to start selling to the Smithsonian. We've got a lot more work ahead of us, but I think we are making progress.”

World News will be with Sanders for the opening of the new “Price of Freedom” gift store Wednesday, as the “Made in America” series continues.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio