Textile trade bodies unitedly hail passage of Kissel amendment
The stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1), included legislation offered by Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC) mandating that any textile and apparel products contracted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) be manufactured in the United States with 100 percent U.S. inputs.
This mandate, commonly known as the Berry Amendment, first was applied to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) beginning in 1941. Because of existing U.S. international obligations, the new Kissell legislation only would cover prospective U.S. government procurement of uniforms and other textile products for the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard within DHS.
"I'm so proud to have my name on the Kissell Amendment. It is estimated upwards of 20,000 people will have jobs due to this measure. So many people in the textile industry worked so hard to make this expansion of the Berry Amendment a reality and as a former textile worker myself, I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart."
"This amendment is exactly what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is all about— using American ingenuity to fuel our economic recovery. There is nothing more American than the brave men and women who protect us every day serving at Department of Homeland Security wearing uniforms made by hardworking Americans," Kissell added.
“For every $100 million spent annually under the Kissell Amendment, the U.S. government will create or save 5,000 badly needed U.S. manufacturing and other jobs,” remarked Auggie Tantillo, Executive Director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC). “Congressman Kissell's “buy-U.S.” legislation will provide an important stimulus to America's economy in light of the 4.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs lost in the last eight years,” Tantillo continued.
“Congressman Kissell is a hero to everyone in the U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing sector. This long sought after job-creating legislation never would have passed without his dogged persistence,” said Cass Johnson, Chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), in thanking Congressman Kissell and his colleagues on behalf of the U.S. textile and apparel industry and its more than 450,000 workers.
Bruce Raynor, President of UNITE HERE (the labor union representing textile and apparel workers), also extended thanks from the industry and its workers and said, “We are deeply grateful to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her determined support for the Kissell Amendment. This victory would not have happened without the Speaker's unwavering personal commitment to help U.S. manufacturing and its workers.”
Raynor continued, “Much thanks must also be extended to President Obama and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). With the Kissell Amendment they delivered change all U.S. textile and apparel workers can believe in.”