Arlington, VA – American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) Executive Vice President Steve Lamar today welcomed the announcement by the U.S. Department of Defense that it will begin to correct a procurement policy that would now favor U.S.-made athletic footwear offered to U.S. servicemen and women.
Congress passed the Berry Amendment in 1941 to ensure that American soldiers trained and operated, to the greatest extent possible, with American-made uniforms and equipment. However, since fiscal year 2002, the Defense Department has circumvented this policy by issuing cash allowances to new recruits for training shoes which are not required to be Berry Amendment-compliant.
But footwear industry advocates pushed for the change, noting it was costing American manufacturing jobs and inhibiting U.S. military members from training in high-quality American footwear.
“The announcement by the Department of Defense is welcome news for the U.S. athletic footwear manufacturing industry,” said the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). “We must continue to protect and strengthen the Berry Amendment because it ensures greater national security and grows U.S. jobs. This action today is a welcome step in that direction. We applaud the Department of Defense for working proactively with industry and congressional stakeholders to preserve the Berry Amendment.”