Selling to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requires manufacturers to comply with numerous production restrictions that prevent the DoD from purchasing goods or materials from other countries. One such federal regulation is the Berry Amendment. Under this amendment, DoD contractors, as well as subcontractors, are restricted to the purchase of Berry compliant goods, while consumers can also purchase these products to support the U.S. economy. Read on to learn more about the Berry Amendment, why it’s important for the textile industry, and the applications of various compliant fabrics.
What Is Berry Compliant?
Acting as an additional limitation on governmental purchasing as part of the Buy American Act of 1933, the Berry Amendment of 1941 ensures that the DoD can only spend funds on goods that are grown, manufactured, or reprocessed in the United States. For textiles, the Berry Amendment covers such items as:
- Natural fibers like cotton, as well as synthetics
- Silk products
- Wool, in everything from its initial fiber form to manufactured end products
- Garments, including the fabrics that make up their material composition
- Coverings like tarpaulins and tents
- Canvas goods
One exception to this amendment has to do with availability. While the Buy American Act allowed the U.S. government to set up trade agreements for items abroad if they were at least 25% less expensive than their U.S. counterparts, the Berry Amendment further restricts DoD international purchases to only those for which there is no availability domestically. Congress enacted the Berry Amendment to support textile expansion during wartime and safeguard the health of the domestic textile industry.
Berry Compliant (DoD) vs. Made in America (FTC) vs. Trade Agreements
Multiple trade regulations exist concerning U.S. government purchases of American products, and it can be confusing for companies trying to ensure any necessary compliance. For example, not to be confused with the Buy American Act, there is also a Buy America Act, which focuses on purchases concerning mass transit. Then there is the Trade Agreements Act, which sometimes overrules the Buy American Act, allowing the federal government to procure goods from specific foreign countries in covered trade agreements under particular circumstances, such as purchases over a $193,000 payment threshold.
Also, when manufacturers claim that their products are made in the USA, this does not necessarily equate to being Berry compliant. In order for the DoD to purchase it, a product’s materials must be traceable to companies within the U.S. Products claiming to be made in America simply have to be almost entirely produced domestically, with small allowances for materials or parts made internationally. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees made-in-the-USA goods to protect consumers and companies from deceptive or outright fraudulent claims as well as unfair business practices.
Why Work with a Berry Compliant Fabric Manufacturer
It is important for businesses to be aware of the origins of their purchased goods and understand the implications of any American-made claims they attribute to their products to avoid penalties or the cancellation of awarded government contracts. Utilizing a Berry compliant fabric producer allows for potential access to DoD funding with the assurance of clear, U.S.-based material origins. Simultaneously, it gives customers who are not affiliated with the DoD the opportunity to support domestic businesses. Purchasing from American producers and Berry compliant manufacturers assures that government and consumer money stays in the country rather than contributing to the economy of another nation.
Berry Compliant Fabrics from Jason Mills
The Berry Amendment mandates that compliant manufacturers utilize domestically made textiles, and the team at Jason Mills, LLC can help. By keeping each stage of our operation in-house from ideation and development to dyeing and finishing, we can ensure quality textiles that adhere to not only our clients’ exacting specifications but also industry and DoD standards. Our innovative, USA-made fabric options include:
- Style 1967. Despite its light weight, this smooth material works well in cold-weather military applications, such as linings for Gen III clothing systems.
- Style 65. This fabric has common uses in substrates as well as recreational tasks like pool filtration material; however, it was initially intended for healthcare applications.
- Style 78. This cargo net material is Berry compliant and also meets the standards for garments, safety flags, and sleep system containment bags for marines. As a safety textile, it is available in vibrant, highly visible hues, or hi-viz colors.
- Style 417. With original applications as conventional mosquito netting, manufacturers now employ this material in military and commercial parachute liners.
Our textiles not only comply with the stipulations of the Berry Amendment, but they can also satisfy Mil C requirements. The military makes use of some of our fabrics for garments like Gen III parka linings or improved outer tactical vest (IOTV) mesh pockets. Our products emphasize both form and function, providing comfort and any required aesthetics along with high performance and regulatory compliance.
Contact Us Today for Your Fabric Needs
The decision to collaborate with the DoD will subject you to a significant number of regulations and prerequisites. For your project to be eligible for DoD funding, it must comply with the Berry Amendment’s requirements for textiles.
Not only does Jason Mills have the supplies and experience necessary for the job, but we also guarantee that our products comply with the Berry Amendment, with the capability for meeting Mil C requirements, producing specialty textiles with fire and other resistance capabilities, and more. Get in touch with the knowledgeable staff at Jason Mills for any and all of your DoD-related textile projects, or request a quote today to get started.