COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The U.S. government spends more than $1.5 billion each year on clothing made overseas. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown thinks that needs to change.
"If the government is going to spend money on buying things in every case possible those products should be made in the United States by American workers - period," Brown said.
Brown says his bill would strengthen the domestic textile industry and create new jobs. While he admits it might increase costs, in the long run it pays off.
"Sometimes it costs more because we pay our workers better, but over time it will better than pay for itself," he said, because Americans who have a job pay taxes while those who don't are drawing unemployment and other government services like Medicaid.
The announcement of the "Wear American Act" was made a Homage, a Columbus-based clothing company. They purchase their fabric from North Carolina, manufacture it in California, and finish the product in Columbus.
There would be some exemptions in the legislation for items not produced in the USA.
Brown is optimistic that the legislation will pass.
"People really don't want to oppose it and the question is getting enough public exposure on it to force some of my free trade colleagues to face the music if they're voting against Buy America," he said.