US Senator Sherrod Brown is urging the government to "buy American" through the introduction of a new bill that will require it to only buy textiles and clothing made in the country.

At a news conference yesterday (6 January), Brown called for the US government to stop purchasing products from foreign contractors who use child labour and "violate worker safety laws".

He called for passage of the Wear American Act, which would require all textile products purchased by federal agencies to be made in the US.

"It's not in the interest of American jobs, American taxpayers, or global human rights when our government procures goods from factories with records of blatant international labour violations.

"But the limited enforcement actions our government has at its disposal are undermined by a simple lack of disclosure. American taxpayers deserve to know the addresses of factories receiving contracts before they are awarded."

Current law only requires federal agencies to purchase textile products that are 51% American made. Brown cited a report that revealed the government spends more than US$1.5bn a year on foreign-made products.

However, last month The National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law - but without a controversial amendment requiring military branded garments sold at US base retail stores to be sourced from companies that have signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.