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DOD Textile and Apparel Procurement Fairness Act introduced
Jun '11
Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) introduced H.R. 2312 – The Department of Defense (DOD) Textile and Apparel Procurement Fairness Act. The bill would close loophole which permit DOD to get around rules in the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act meant to limit DOD purchases of clothing and textile-based military equipment from Federal Prison Industries (FPI) – a company whose workforce is comprised of prisoners in U.S. federal penitentiaries.

By doing so, H.R. 2312 would provide domestic clothing and textile manufacturers greater opportunities to hire more hard-working, law-abiding U.S. citizens. Congressman Jones saw the need for legislation after hearing from American apparel manufacturers who have unfairly lost business to Federal Prison Industries.

“It is simply wrong for the U.S. government to administer a military procurement policy that favors giving jobs to felons over law-abiding Americans,” said Congressman Jones. “That is especially true during these difficult economic times.”

Under an existing federal law known as the Berry Amendment, the Department of Defense is required to purchase all textile-based military equipment from 100% domestic sources. At the same time, Federal law gives FPI a mandatory source preference, which directs DOD to purchase any clothing article or textile-based equipment from FPI first before the private sector.

Over the last several years, DOD has used loopholes to give FPI an ever growing market share of military clothing and other textile-based equipment using these non-competitive procedures. H.R. 2312 would correct this inequity by limiting FPI to 5% market share of any one product, thereby providing America's domestic national security manufacturing base with real opportunities to maintain and grow jobs.

Congressman Walter B. Jones

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