Senator Proposes Wear American Act

Current Laws Offer Much Greater Leeway

Wear American ActU.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is introducing legislation that would require government agencies to only buy apparel that's American-made, amending current laws that offer much greater leeway. The proposal follows the recent news that U.S. athletes will wear uniforms made in China during the opening ceremony of this summer's Olympic Games.

"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," Brown said. "With our widening trade deficit, we should be doing everything we can to support American manufacturing and job creation."

The bill proposed by Brown, named the Wear American Act of 2012, would mandate that textile and apparel items bought by federal agencies be manufactured from materials grown or produced in the U.S. Current so-called Buy America statutes only require 51% of apparel products purchased by the federal government to be made domestically. "Manufacturing helped make this country great," Brown said. "Good-paying manufacturing jobs have allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to buy homes, send their children to college, and retire with security."

Each year, the federal government spends approximately $3 billion on apparel, according to Brown's office.