By Unknown Author
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wants all National Park Service memorabilia to be "Made in the U.S.A" and is backing legislation to ensure that only American manufacturers provide goods and souvenirs sold in the parks.
Tester's American Parks, American Products Act requires that all items sold by the National Park Service in gift shops and visitor centers are made in the United States. Many park goods currently are made abroad, including in China.
Sales of memorabilia and other goods total more than $1 billion each year, according to a news release from Tester's office.
The current U.S. trade deficit with China is $273 billion, roughly half of the country's total trade deficit.
"America's national parks, like Glacier and Yellowstone, highlight our nation's history, heritage and natural beauty, and it just makes sense to see that these treasured places showcase America's craftsmanship too," Tester said in the news release. "We need to do more to encourage more manufacturing and small business growth here in America -- not in China -- and this bill is a good step."
More than 5.6 million people visited Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in 2010, adding $444 million to local economies, the news release continued.
The National Park Service's 393 parks, monuments and historical sites attract nearly one million visitors every day.
Tester is the chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.