After the Census Bureau reported that the U.S. bought $3.6 million worth of U.S. flags last year from other nations, including $3.3 million worth from China, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) wondered why the House of Representatives had not yet passed his All American Flag Act.
Contributing to the nation's troublesome trade deficit, the $3.6 million in imported U.S. flags compared unfavorably to flag exports of only $663,071, mostly to Mexico.
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Under current federal law, U.S. flags purchased by the federal government must be made of at least 50% American-made materials, but may be purchased from any country. Senator Brown's All American Flag Act (S. 1188) and similar bills would prohibit the federal agencies from buying U.S. flags not made entirely in the U.S. "from articles, materials, or supplies 100% of which are grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States."
"We should do all we can to support American manufacturing and job creation, especially when it comes to our most treasured of patriotic symbols -- the American flag," said Sen. Brown in a press release.
The Senate passed Sen. Brown's All American Flag Act by unanimous consent on July 27, 2011, but the bill has yet to be considered by the House.
"In a time when we face economic hardship, it is critical to invest in the manufacturing base," Brown said during the Senate debate on his bill. "There is no product that deserves a U.S.A. label more than American flags."
The U.S. trade deficit -- the difference between the value of goods and services sold by the U.S. to other countries and the value of goods and services purchased in the U.S. from other countries - hit a distressing record $48.2 billion in March 2011.
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