Tester bill requires Homeland Security Dept. to buy American

Bipartisan measure will create jobs, spur U.S. manufacturing

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester’s newest bill would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase its supplies from American manufacturers.

Tester’s bipartisan bill, called the Berry Amendment Extension Act, requires the department to buy clothing, equipment, and other provisions from U.S. producers.  The Defense Department has operated under a similar requirement since Congress passed the original “Berry Amendment” in 1941.

“American tax dollars shouldn’t go overseas when American businesses and workers make quality products here at home,” Tester said.  “It's common sense that the men and women who protect our country should wear and use American-made goods to do their jobs.”

Tester’s bill covers Homeland Security’s purchases of uniforms, footwear, tents, field packs, and other textile-based equipment.  It provides exceptions for small and emergency purchases, products unavailable from American manufacturers, and certain commercially-available textile products.

Dana Gleason, Chief Designer of Mystery Ranch, a Bozeman-based company that specializes in multi-use backpacks, says the change will benefit American manufacturers and create Montana jobs.

“Mystery Ranch would like to thank Senator Jon Tester for his leadership role in promoting American-made products,” Gleason said.  “This legislation will add jobs at Mystery Ranch’s newly expanded Bozeman plant by providing the Department of Homeland Security with top-notch American-made equipment.”

Tester’s bill mirrors a provision in the Recovery Act that required Homeland Security to purchase textiles and apparel products manufactured in the United States. 

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, introduced the Berry Amendment Extension Act with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).  It is available online HERE.