As a contractor to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government agencies, Ehmke Manufacturing Company is required by law to adhere to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and many statutory requirements. The two prevailing requirements that govern the majority of the DoD’s purchases of textile items are regulated by the Buy American Act (BAA – FAR Subpart 225.1) and the Berry Amendment.
The Buy American Act (BAA – 41 U.S.C. § 10a–10d) passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Hoover, required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases. Other pieces of federal legislation extend similar requirement to third-party purchases that utilize federal funds, such as highway and transit programs. In certain government procurements, the requirement purchase may be waived if the domestic product is more expensive than an identical foreign-sourced product by a certain percentage, if the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, or if doing so is in the public interest. The complete DFARS Subpart 225.1 can be viewed here.
The Berry Amendment (USC, Title 10, Section 2533a), requires the Department of Defense to give preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured, or home grown products, most notably food, clothing, textile products & fabrics, and specialty metals. Congress originally passed domestic source restrictions as part of the 1941 Fifth Supplemental DoD Appropriations Act in order to protect the domestic industrial base in the time of war.
The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) was amended to include exceptions for the acquisition of food, specialty metals, and hand or measuring tools when needed to support contingency operations or when the use of other-than-competitive procedures is based on an unusual and compelling urgency.
The specialty metals provision was added in 1973. This provision requires that specialty metals incorporated in products delivered under DoD contracts to be melted in the United States or a “qualifying country”. Specialty metals include certain steel, titanium, zirconium and other metal alloys that are important to the DoD.