U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.-08) scored another major victory for the American textile industry early Thursday morning, successfully passing an amendment introduced to the Defense Authorization Act, that would require that the production and manufacturing of all components of Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police uniforms be done entirely in America, according to a press release from his staff.
Kissell’s amendment will close a loophole in Department of Defense contracting that allows foreign fabrics from China, Vietnam and elsewhere to be used. The legislation now ensures that U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent supporting U.S. textile companies and workers.
“Since my first day in Congress, I’ve worked to ensure that American businesses are given a fair shot by our government, and this is another instance in which we should accept nothing short of Buy American,” said Kissell. “If taxpayer funds are being used, they should be used in every possible way to promote U.S. businesses and American workers. I spent most of my adult life working in textiles, and I know the pride that American textile workers take in the apparel and uniforms they make for our troops. American made goods are the best in the world, and I’m glad I could help close this loophole and take steps to protect and create jobs right here in North Carolina.”
Kissell’s amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee by a vote of 41-20. It will now be included in the final text of the bill as amended, H.R. 4310, the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Textile industry representatives praised Kissell for his leadership in identifying the loophole and acting quickly to close it.
Kissell spent 27 years working in textiles before being elected to Congress. He serves as co-chair of the House Textile Caucus alongside Rep. Howard Coble (N.C.-06). Kissell has also advocated for extending the Berry Amendment to the Department of Homeland Security.