US Carbon Fiber to be used in Defense Purchases

17 June 2003

The minimum amount of American content required in major US Department of Defense purchases will rise from 50 percent to 65 percent, including polyacrylonitrile carbon fiber.

The requirement was changed as a result of an amendment to the defense authorization bill sponsored by Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Ill., chairman of the House Small Business Committee.

Manzullo led the fight last year to force the Pentagon to rescind contracts for military berets that had been awarded to foreign manufacturers, including one in China. That contract, he said, violated a law that required 100 percent American content in certain products purchased by the department.

Now the House, at Manzullo's urging, has added eight more products to that list: Ordnance fuses, microwave power tubes or traveling wave tubes, polyacrylonitrile carbon fiber, aircraft tires, ground vehicle tires, tank track assemblies, tank track components and packaging in direct contact with food in ready-to-eat meals.

The legislation also requires defense contractors to begin using American-made machine tools, dies and industrial molds on major weapons contracts within the next four years.

""When U.S. taxpayers' dollars are spent, we must make sure the federal government is buying as much of their goods and services as possible from U.S. manufacturers,"" Manzullo says. ""This legislation offers another way to create work for our struggling manufacturers.""

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