December 22, 2006
Kelley Drye represented American specialty metals producers in their successful bid to preserve and strengthen the specialty metals provision of the Berry Amendment.
The Berry Amendment requires the Defense Department to purchase only American-made varieties of certain foods, textiles, and metals. It is intended to protect those domestic industries vital to the U.S. military so that crucial supplies could not be cut off during war. The specialty metals provision of the Amendment recently had been challenged by the aerospace industry and other defense-supplying industries, which sought permission to use cheaper foreign-smelted metals in military equipment.
International Trade Partners Skip Hartquist and Larry Lasoff, along with Dana Wood, Director of Government Relations, argued on behalf of specialty metals producers that the protections afforded by the Berry Amendment were crucial to the continued existence of the domestic strategic metals industry, and in turn, the national security of the United States.
The final bill, which was approved by both the House and Senate on September 29th, as part of the FY 2007 Defense Authorization Act, placed specialty metals in their own subsection of the Berry Amendment, subject to a unique set of provisions that strengthened and clarified existing law. The industry has hailed the legislation as a major success.