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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Ron Houle, vice president, government relations DHS Systems LLC

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As USIFI (United States Industrial Fabrics Institute) board chair, what are the pressing issues for the industry, and what are you currently working on?

One of our goals is to expand the Berry Amendment—which requires the Department of Defense to give preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured or home-grown products, including food, clothing, fabrics and specialty metals. We’re also being more proactive in ensuring that members of Congress understand how important the Berry Amendment is to our members. USIFI had a victory about a year and a half ago in terms of preventing some erosion of the amendment, and it recently formed a coalition of other textile organizations to inform and educate key members of Congress on the importance of the provisions of the amendment, and that it must be protected.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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