Why ‘Made in America’ Is Stitched Into the Law, but Not the Uniforms

More Transportation Security Administration uniforms have been made in Mexico in recent years than in the United States, despite rules requiring the Department of Homeland Security to “buy American.”CreditDavid Mcnew/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s push to “buy American” has been a key initiative of his administration, and Mr. Trump speaks frequently about ensuring that the federal government is buying American products.

So it might come as a surprise that the uniforms of those Secret Service agents that protect and surround him every day are probably made outside the United States, most likely in Mexico.

The United States government has several laws on the books that require the military and other national security agencies to buy from American sources, when possible. But a new report from the Government Accountability Office shows how a primary rule covering the Department of Homeland Security, called the Kissell Amendment, has been undercut by a slew of bureaucratic restrictions and obligations required by international trade agreements.

As a result, over roughly the past three years, more Secret Service uniforms have been made in Mexico than in any other country — including the United States. The same goes for uniforms procured for Transportation Security Administration workers. The majority of uniforms for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are also made outside the United States, in countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Cambodia.

“It really doesn’t have much impact at all,” Kimberly Gianopoulos, the director of the Government Accountability Office’s international affairs and trade team, said of the Kissell Amendment.

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Made in the USA… and China: Why the new paradigm will be to manufacture in both China and America. And Southern U.S. states will win big on jobs.

If I had told you in the summer of 2009 that America’s long-suffering manufacturing industries would lead the lackluster recovery from the Great Recession, you probably would have wondered what I was reading—or smoking.

I would have been correct, however. As a June 1 report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) noted, May 2011 marked the 22nd consecutive month in which U.S. manufacturing expanded. Exports have driven much of the growth. Last year, for example, U.S. exports increased more than 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau, and some 85 percent of those exports were manufactured goods.

It comes as no surprise that manufacturing employment also is on the rise, with related jobs increasing last year for the first time since 1997.

The good news about U.S. manufacturing is no fluke. For reasons I will explain below, the manufacturing renaissance should continue for years to come. Read more of this post

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