As of December 7th, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2021 fiscal year. The complex, bipartisan-approved budget is chock-full of measures to keep the United States’ defense measures strong, but one part was particularly beneficial.
The Berry Amendment is a measure that ensures the U.S. government prioritizes domestic manufacturers when appropriating goods for national defense. And as explained by the National Council of Textile Organizations, defense contracts are a huge boon to American textile producers. The Berry Amendment was first applied in 1941, but was officially signed into law in the 1994 fiscal year. In recent times, the threshold for acquisition orders was $150,00, which a Republican-controlled Congress raised to $250,000 in 2018.
The NDAA pays much lip service to defend against Chinese hegemony, but paradoxically by raising the threshold on acquisitions, Congress priced out many American manufacturers, causing jobs to be outsourced and millions of dollars in American wages to be lost. Luckily this year, Congress has countered this harmful move, lowering the threshold to its original level. The problematic nature of the American defense budget notwithstanding, this is money that will go into American pockets and hopefully buoy struggling textile producers across the nation.
President Trump did his best to torpedo this budget and its attempt at saving American jobs, but only a few hours ago, the House overrode him, hopefully leading to its finalization.