Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to President Obama - Footwear Made in U.S.A.

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, along with 13 other senators, today sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to direct the Department of Defense to ensure that new service members are issued or provided athletic footwear made in the U.S.A. consistent with DOD's procurement policies for other types of footwear.

The Department of Defense purchases American-made combat boots, service shoes, and nearly every other uniform type in bulk for initial entry recruit. However, it provides vouchers to new recruits for the purchase of athletic footwear, without any preference to domestically manufactured products. In the letter, the senators ask the President to direct the Department of Defense to align its athletic footwear procurement policies to those it has already adopted for other footwear.

"Maine has a long and proud shoemaking history, and the men and women who work in the New Balance factories in our state are part of that legacy," said Senator Collins. "The Department of Defense can make a sound investment in American factories, providing good-paying manufacturing jobs in Maine, and at no added cost to the government."

"Maine's shoemakers, including the talented workforce at New Balance, produce some of the highest quality footwear in the United States and can undoubtedly meet the diverse needs of our servicemen and women," said Senator King. "The Department of Defense needs to support our highly competitive, domestic athletic shoe manufacturers in the same way it does combat boot and shoe manufacturers, just like the Berry Amendment always intended."

"On behalf of our more than 1300 shoemakers in Maine and Massachusetts and our suppliers around the country, we thank Senators Collins and King and their colleagues for their leadership on this issue. Our industry has come together to request that the DOD simply follow their own rules and allow for a competitive environment where companies that are committed to manufacturing in the United States are encouraged to do so. We are hopeful that the Administration will correct this inequity and support domestic manufacturers," said Matt LeBretton, DirectU.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, along with 13 other senators, today sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to direct the Department of Defense to ensure that new service members are issued or provided athletic footwear made in the U.S.A. consistent with DOD's procurement policies for other types of footwear.

The Department of Defense purchases American-made combat boots, service shoes, and nearly every other uniform type in bulk for initial entry recruit. However, it provides vouchers to new recruits for the purchase of athletic footwear, without any preference to domestically manufactured products. In the letter, the senators ask the President to direct the Department of Defense to align its athletic footwear procurement policies to those it has already adopted for other footwear.

"Maine has a long and proud shoemaking history, and the men and women who work in the New Balance factories in our state are part of that legacy," said Senator Collins. "The Department of Defense can make a sound investment in American factories, providing good-paying manufacturing jobs in Maine, and at no added cost to the government."

"Maine's shoemakers, including the talented workforce at New Balance, produce some of the highest quality footwear in the United States and can undoubtedly meet the diverse needs of our servicemen and women," said Senator King. "The Department of Defense needs to support our highly competitive, domestic athletic shoe manufacturers in the same way it does combat boot and shoe manufacturers, just like the Berry Amendment always intended."

"On behalf of our more than 1300 shoemakers in Maine and Massachusetts and our suppliers around the country, we thank Senators Collins and King and their colleagues for their leadership on this issue. Our industry has come together to request that the DOD simply follow their own rules and allow for a competitive environment where companies that are committed to manufacturing in the United States are encouraged to do so. We are hopeful that the Administration will correct this inequity and support domestic manufacturers," said Matt LeBretton, Director of Public Affairs, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

Below is the full text of the letter:

President Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

One of your top priorities put forth in your State of the Union address is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. You identified Caterpillar and Ford Motor Company as American job creators, and you announced that Apple will soon be manufacturing Mac computers in the United States.

We share your goal of encouraging manufacturers to create jobs here in America. We hope you will add domestic footwear manufacturers to this list of companies that are creating new American manufacturing jobs and would agree with us that they should not face unnecessary barriers in doing so. We can increase American footwear manufacturing jobs at no cost to the federal government simply by your directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to align its athletic footwear procurement policies to those it has already adopted for other footwear, such as combat boots, service shoes, and other uniform items.

Let us give you some background on this issue. Since October 2012, the Defense Logistics Agency has awarded more than $36 million in domestic footwear manufacturing contracts to companies such as Altama Footwear, Capps Shoe Company, Rocky Brands, and Wolverine for combat boots and men's and women's shoes. In contrast, the Army, Navy, and Air Force provide cash vouchers to new recruits to purchase athletic footwear, without any preference for domestically manufactured products. Given that DoD purchases American-made combat boots, service shoes, and nearly every other uniform type in bulk for initial entry recruits, the DoD should also purchase athletic footwear made here in the United States for our troops.

We expect DoD officials will soon visit one of the premier domestic athletic shoe manufacturers to see first-hand that the domestic capacity exists to produce high-quality athletic shoes at a cost comparable to what we are already allocating to our service members for such footwear. We are sure they will be impressed by the skill and workmanship of our domestic footwear manufacturers. American workers can meet the footwear requirements of nearly all our service members if you simply give them this opportunity. We urge you to insist that the footwear worn by our troops is top quality and made in America in keeping with the intent of the law known as the "Berry Amendment."

Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to hearing from you.or of Public Affairs, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

Below is the full text of the letter:

President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

One of your top priorities put forth in your State of the Union address is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. You identified Caterpillar and Ford Motor Company as American job creators, and you announced that Apple will soon be manufacturing Mac computers in the United States.

We share your goal of encouraging manufacturers to create jobs here in America. We hope you will add domestic footwear manufacturers to this list of companies that are creating new American manufacturing jobs and would agree with us that they should not face unnecessary barriers in doing so. We can increase American footwear manufacturing jobs at no cost to the federal government simply by your directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to align its athletic footwear procurement policies to those it has already adopted for other footwear, such as combat boots, service shoes, and other uniform items.

Let us give you some background on this issue. Since October 2012, the Defense Logistics Agency has awarded more than $36 million in domestic footwear manufacturing contracts to companies such as Altama Footwear, Capps Shoe Company, Rocky Brands, and Wolverine for combat boots and men's and women's shoes. In contrast, the Army, Navy, and Air Force provide cash vouchers to new recruits to purchase athletic footwear, without any preference for domestically manufactured products. Given that DoD purchases American-made combat boots, service shoes, and nearly every other uniform type in bulk for initial entry recruits, the DoD should also purchase athletic footwear made here in the United States for our troops.

We expect DoD officials will soon visit one of the premier domestic athletic shoe manufacturers to see first-hand that the domestic capacity exists to produce high-quality athletic shoes at a cost comparable to what we are already allocating to our service members for such footwear. We are sure they will be impressed by the skill and workmanship of our domestic footwear manufacturers. American workers can meet the footwear requirements of nearly all our service members if you simply give them this opportunity. We urge you to insist that the footwear worn by our troops is top quality and made in America in keeping with the intent of the law known as the "Berry Amendment."

Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to hearing from you.


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top