U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is spearheading a new “Buy America” plan to require the federal government to buy apparel that is 100 percent American-made.

There are exemptions for apparel types not made in the United States, he said Wednesday during a conference call.

Current Buy America statutes require only 51 percent of apparel products bought by the federal government to be made in this country, except for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Their apparel already is required to be 100 percent American-made.

Brown’s proposal comes after last week’s news that the uniforms being worn by U.S. athletes during the opening ceremony of the upcoming Summer Olympics in London were made in China.

The federal government spends about $3 billion a year on apparel, according to Brown’s office.

Fashion designer Nanette Lepore, a Youngstown native, said, “I love this initiative.”

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