NEWARK - Sen. Bob Menendez celebrated a symbolic milestone for American manufacturers today.

The senator made a return visit to two New Jersey apparel factories where he had promised to restore their strength when competing with foreign companies and preserve manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Three years after that promise, Menendez says those very products and manufacturers will continue to be "Made in America."

"Finally we can say that 'Made in America' is more than a catchy slogan, it's a reality," Menendez says. "American workers are the best workers in the world, especially here in New Jersey.  But for a long time they were fighting a losing battle on an uneven playing field."

The senator's measure was passed this week by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill is expected to help preserve thousands of jobs.