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IRON-IC CURTAIN: U.S. Border Patrol Outfits Being Manufactured in Mexico

I know what's in these packages. NEW SHOES!

Newly granted contracts to provide uniforms for United States Customs and Border Protections (CBP) contain one very ironic piece of information: they will largely be manufactured in Mexico.


Via CPA Trade Reform:

The latest contract with the company was awarded on Dec. 20, 2012, to make “uniform and insignia items” for the CBP at an estimated cost of $6,157,997.57, and a ceiling of $8 million.
The CBP, which is responsible for protecting America’s borders, told that items from VF Imagewear, a subsidiary of VF Corporation, are manufactured in a number of locations, “including Mexico.”

“There are no domestic preference regulations or statutes applicable to DHS/CBP that would prohibit the manufacture of uniform items in Mexico,” the CBP said.  “In fact, United States obligations under International Agreements require that the Agency accept items manufactured in Mexico.”

“Consistent with the foregoing, VF is permitted to provide items manufactured in Mexico under the current contract,” the agency said.

VF Imagewear operates facilities in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. They provide uniforms for a variety of industries, including transportation, hospitality, food service and for the NFL, MLB and Harley-Davidson. Major League Baseball mandates that the products they purchase from VF Imagewear must be Made in America. Baseball is, after all, America’s pasttime. Not even irony can screw that up.

The government, sadly, does not require this provision.

Detractors of the Mexican-made uniforms argue that manufacturing government uniforms outside of the United States poses a threat to national security. This is not normally a talking point worth repeating. But, hey, we’re caught up in the anti-un-American zealfest. Rep. Jackie Speier, Democrat from California, said in a press release prior to a 2011 contract between VF Imagewear and the TSA Speier:

“There are also national security concerns. Uniforms have a greater potential of being stolen in Mexico where it is more difficult to provide oversight of factories and cargo.”

According to its annual report, VF Imagewear also shares these concerns

The company does have concerns with its manufacturing sites abroad, according to its annual report, including “political or military conflict” and “heightened terrorism security concerns,” which “could subject imported or exported goods to additional, more frequent or more lengthy inspections, leading to delays in deliveries or the impoundment of goods for extended periods.”

Three words: Buy American Provisions.


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