Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources [November 26, 2013]   [open pdf - 338KB]

"This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as potential options for Congress. In order to protect the U.S. industrial base during periods of adversity and war, Congress passed domestic source restrictions as part of the 1941 Fifth Supplemental Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations Act. These provisions later became known as the Berry Amendment. The Berry Amendment (Title 10 United States Code [U.S.C.] §2533a, Requirement to Buy Certain Articles from American Sources; Exceptions) contains a number of domestic source restrictions that prohibit DOD from acquiring food, clothing (including military uniforms), fabrics (including ballistic fibers), stainless steel, and hand or measuring tools that are not grown or produced in the United States. The Berry Amendment applies to DOD purchases only. […] Some policy makers believe that policies like the Berry Amendment contradict free trade policies, and that the presence and degree of such competition is the most effective tool for promoting efficiencies and improving quality. On the other hand, some other policy makers believe that key domestic sectors (like manufacturing) need the protections afforded by the Berry Amendment. The debate over the Berry Amendment raises several questions, among them (1) If the United States does not produce a solely domestic item, or if U.S. manufacturers are at maximum production capability, should DOD restrict procurement from foreign sources; and (2) to what extent do U.S. national security interests and industrial base concerns justify waiver of the Berry Amendment?"

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31236
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