Thursday, September 26, 2013

All-American Flag Act

Senators Sherrod Brown (Dem, Ohio) and Jay Rockefeller (Dem., West Virginia) have introduced a bill, S.1214, to require that "only such flags of the United States of America, regardless of size, that are 100 percent manufactured in the United States, from articles, materials, or supplies 100 percent of which are grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States, may be acquired for use by the Federal Government." It a press release, Senator Brown stated: "According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the value of American flags imported into the United States last year was $3.8 million—including $3.6 million from China." It is not immediately clear whether the bill, if enacted, would apply in the case of a country, such as Vietnam, that is negotiating a free trade agreement with the U.S. One provision in the bill states: "This Act shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements." That is significant as our free trade agreements with other nations typically ban such "Buy American" provisions except in certain limited and enumerated cases relating to national security.

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