Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Applauds Inclusion of Domestic Manufacturing Requirements for Personal Protective Equipment in Infrastructure Bill

Industry Supported Provisions Will Strengthen and Promote American Industrial Base

MARBLEHEAD, MA (November 15, 2021) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition
(WPRC) commends the United States Congress for including several provisions to support and strengthen the domestic industrial base within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. By including provisions that prioritize the procurement of American-made personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical safety items, Congress has acknowledged the urgent need to manufacturing quality, American made goods to respond to current and future crises. These provisions take an important step toward ending our reliance on low quality foreign-made products.
“Title IX – Build America, Buy America” of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes the WPRC supported Make PPE in America Act, originally co-sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), and Rep. Marriannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA). This provision requires that the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Department of Education, and Department of Veterans Affairs issue two-year contracts
to incentivize investment in domestic PPE production.

The WPRC worked diligently with industry partners and original sponsors to identify and develop an inclusive list of critical safety items that were unavailable domestically at the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes surgical masks, respirator masks and powered air purifying respirators and required filters, face shields and protective eyewear, gloves, disposable and reusable surgical and isolation gowns, and head and foot coverings, or other gear or clothing used to protect an individual from the transmission of disease. Items assembled outside the US must still contain only materials and components that are grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the US.
WPRC Executive Director David Costello said, “Inclusion of this provision in the infrastructure package is a significant victory for the American industrial base and a strong complement to other legislative proposals designed to ensure domestic companies have the resources available to produce critical safety items in the U.S. Requiring two-year procurement contracts and extending Berry Amendment requirements to the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs will have a significant positive impact on Americans companies to plan for future challenges and improves the national security of the United States.”

Also, within Title IX is a WPRC-supported provision that requires the General Services Administration (GSA) to make public any waivers issued for non-Buy American compliant contract awards. Increasing transparency and public awareness of non-domestic federal procurements will help companies identify gaps within domestic production and meet demand with higher quality American-made products. The public disclosure of items that are not available in the United States is a model for whole of government procurement policy. WPRC continues to support provisions that increase procurement transparency and expand the range of opportunities for the domestic industrial base to decrease our reliance on foreign-made gear and equipment.
About the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition
The WPRC is the unified voice of advocacy for the individual and unit level equipment needs of the warfighter and peacekeeper. The leading tactical equipment, apparel, textiles, materials, and technology companies of the WPRC are committed to ensuring that American service members, Homeland Security personnel, and frontline healthcare workers are provided with superior products built by a robust industrial base, now and in the future. For a complete listing of WPRC member companies, please visit www.warriorprotection.net.