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DOD rules New Balance only footwear in the running for military shoe allowance

3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning
3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning
Military released photo

The U.S. shoemaker New Balance could be the newest winner in how the Department of Defense applies the Berry Amendment, a law which gives ”preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured, or home-grown products.

Most notably, the 1941 law applies to fabrics, food, and clothing to “protect the U.S. industrial base.”

Less than six months ago, New Balance, one of the few footwear makers in America, presented the DOD with a prototype of an athletic shoe for military men and women.

New recruits in the Army, Navy, and Air Force are given a one-time footwear allowance for basic training of approximately $80. With Friday’s new ruling, that could mean Nike, Reebok, Rockport, Sketchers, and any other brand not made in the U.S.A. will be prohibited for purchase with government allotted dollars.

Military Times suggests that this new ruling comes in large part because Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, whose district includes a New Balance footwear factory, lobbied for the change.

Examiner’s Note: The DOD is known for picking-and-choosing which parts of the Berry Amendment they adhere to. The U.S. has current contracts with foreign jet-engine makers and troops in Afghanistan have been supplied food and water through the Defense Logistics Agency from an Arab company for over two years.

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