U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., after
" hearing from a constituent that foreign-made products are available for
purchase in National Park Service (NPS) concession retail stores,
called on the NPS to increase
the percentage of American-made merchandise sold in national park
retail shops," according to a release
The senator released his letter (pasted unedited below) to Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, in which, the release said, he "
highlighted the important role that the federal government
and its contractors – including NPS retail stores – can play in helping
U.S. manufacturers expand their businesses, create new jobs, and
bolster the economy by purchasing goods made by American workers."
part of an ongoing effort to protect and grow American
manufacturing," Murphy asked that at least 50 percent "of goods sold in NPS
stores come from American manufacturers," and "encouraged the NPS
to codify stricter requirements to ensure that national park retail
stores do not import or sell products made by foreign
companies that are otherwise available through American manufacturers," the release said.
According to the release, Murphy has introduced several amendments and pieces of legislation – including the
21st Century Buy American Act and the
American Jobs Matter Act – that "aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase
of American-made goods"
The Honorable Jonathan Jarvis
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Jarvis:
I write to thank you
for your efforts to include American-made products in National Park
Service (NPS) concession retail shops, and to encourage you to continue
to expand the availability of these products
in our national parks. While the NPS has made strides in ensuring that
NPS retailers sell products made in the United States, a Connecticut
constituent recently brought to my attention multiple instances of
foreign-made products in NPS stores. I believe that
we can do more to provide and promote quality, price-competitive,
domestically-made products in our national parks, and ask that you take
further steps to that end.
There were more than
270 million visits to our national parks in 2013, generating billions
of dollars in revenue and contributing significantly to local economies.
Working to make sure that more domestically-made
products are sold would magnify that effect. As you know, federal
investment in manufacturing helps create new American jobs, bolsters our
economy, and enhances opportunities for America’s middle class. One of
the easiest ways to create a ripple effect of
prosperity through manufacturing communities is to ensure that the
goods purchased through the federal government and its contractors, such
as those sold in NPS retail shops, are made by American workers at U.S.
Studies show many
consumers are even willing to pay more for the quality associated with
domestically manufactured goods, and selling American-made products is
crucial to helping our manufacturers grow. I
was pleased that a 2008 review by the National Park Hospitality
Association indicated that 39 percent of merchandise in NPS retail
stores was made in the United States. An additional 31 percent was
finished in the U.S., and the remaining 30 percent was imported
from foreign manufacturers. While this is important progress, I ask you
take immediate steps to increase the percentage of American-made
merchandise in NPS retail stores to at least 50%. As you know, the Buy
American Act requires that certain manufactured
goods be comprised of at least 50% American content. This 50% threshold
I believe is one that NPS should be able to achieve.
I understand NPS has
already made reforms to encourage shop owners to buy American-made
products, such as providing financial incentives to complying retailers
and discussing ‘Made in USA’ initiatives during
the store review process. However, I believe more can be done to find
available, competitively-priced domestic products for NPS concessional
retail stores, and encourage you to codify stricter requirements to
ensure no products that are otherwise available
through domestic manufacturers are imported from foreign companies.
I appreciate your
previous efforts to promote American-made products. In addition to
further steps to increase the amount of American-made goods in NPS
stores, please let me know what Congress can do to help
ensure NPS retail stores buy American-made goods as we work together to
help grow the American economy. The National Parks System is a
priceless heritage belonging to every American, one that I believe can
contribute to the resurgence of American manufacturing
even as it helps conserve and promote our natural resources.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your response.
Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator