Washington: In another protectionist measure primarily aimed at China, the US House of Representatives passed two different bills that mandate the Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to purchase only US-made goods.
The Congressional Made in America Act, introduced by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, requires the Congress to buy goods and services made in America for the first time in nearly seven decades.
Similarly, the Berry Amendment Extension Act, introduced by Congressman Larry Kissell directs the Department of Homeland Security to buy clothing, tents, and other products made in America.
These two bills, unanimously passed by the House, will help in creating American jobs, and expand America`s manufacturing sector, said Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
"In passing these bills, we reaffirm that when we make it in America, we create jobs, promote our competitiveness, and lead the world economy," Pelosi said.
"Democrats will continue to move our nation forward to prosperity for the middle class. Democrats are committed to `Making it in America,` while Republicans are standing with corporations that that ship American jobs overseas," she alleged.
"We can protect our American economy while also protecting our national security and borders. The only way to ensure this is the case is to make these items right here at home," Kissell said.
"For the last 60 years the Berry Amendment has served our nation well, and its expansion to the Department of Homeland Security will further benefit American manufacturing."
The Berry Amendment, originally enacted in 1941, requires the Department of Defence to procure a range of domestically produced or grown items with 100 percent US content.
The legislation has been supported by many groups, including the American Manufacturing Trade Act Coalition, the National Textile Association, the National Council of Textile Organisations, the National Cotton Council and the United States Industrial Fabrics Association International.
It is estimated that for every USD 10 million spent annually, the US government will create or save 500 badly needed US manufacturing and other jobs, said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.
"Congressman Kissell`s `buy-US` legislation will provide a shot in the arm to America`s economy that has suffered more than 5.6 million US manufacturing jobs losses in the last decade," Tantillo said.