What the heck is the Berry Amendment?

I was reading an article today from NPR regarding Zodiac inflatable boats. As most of us remember, Zodiac was a French company and they built their boats (and life rafts) in France. Now it seems that a US competitor has asked why Zodiac can manufacture boats in France out of non-US components. They cited the Berry Amendment which requires that the US Military uses fabrics and clothing that are domestically produced. I would not have thought that inflatable boats would have been considered a fabric product but with further consideration I can see why Zodiac was forced to open a plant in the US to build the goods they sell to the military.

When I started selling straps and buckles I kept reading that a product was “Berry Compliant” and not knowing what that entailed used good old Google to check it out. The whole amendment is online at: https://dap.dau.mil/acquipedia/Pages/ArticleDetails.aspx?aid=be528c25-b648-4797-99b0-ff27ba7ce75b

Talking with our webbing and buckle suppliers I have learned that they do produce product here in the US for sale to the military. As the price of fuel has increased they have actually moved some of their overseas production back home (to get around shipping costs) which is great news for our economy. If they get a bunch of military orders they can move production back offshore and if military sales dwindle more commercial goods will be produced here. It is really good to hear that products can be produced in the United States at competitive prices. Hopefully Zodiac will expand their production in Maryland and employ more US workers.

Rollie Herman

Rollie Herman

Working in the marine industry since 1971, president of Westpac Marine since 1984.
Past president of the United States Marine Safety Association and retired sailor
Rollie Herman

Published by

Rollie Herman

Working in the marine industry since 1971, president of Westpac Marine since 1984. Past president of the United States Marine Safety Association and retired sailor

One thought on “What the heck is the Berry Amendment?”

  1. The question should be asked, why was Zodiac allowed to sell non-compliant boats for over two decades? Not until their feet were held to the fire did they comply. Seems wrong that they broke the law over and over, charged big prices for years because they had a monopoly, and yet they are still competing with not so much as a slap on the hand.

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