Senator Jon Tester 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 visitors centers are made in the United States. Many park goods are currently made abroad, including in China. Sales of memorabilia and other goods total more than $1 billion each year.
The United States' current trade deficit with China is $273 billion, roughly half of the country's total trade deficit.
Two National Parks, Glacier and Yellowstone, are located in Montana.
"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. "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 National Park Service's 393 National Parks, monuments and historical sites attract nearly one million people every day.
Tester, the Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, recently helped announce a new investment in Glacier National Park to strengthen the economy of northwest Montana.