In the last 30 years, 66% of American manufacturing jobs have been lost to cheaper foreign competition and shipped overseas. Today, more than 12 million people in our country are without work. According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is continuing to lose half a million jobs to China every single year. As if that’s not shocking enough, it is being predicted that the Chinese economy will be larger than the U.S. economy by 2016. While these facts may be depressing reminders of our current economic state, it is important to realize that our situation isn’t hopeless. That in fact, if we band together to buy American Made, we can turn these statistics around. A brighter future is possible for America, and you can make that happen.
How the Problem Started To understand how to fix our unemployment problem, we have to understand what started it.
In the late 1970’s, China’s industrial boom created a seemingly enticing advantage to businesses and consumers alike: unbelievably cheap labor wages and material costs that translated to cheap prices on Chinese made goods for US consumers. Not only could Americans buy more for less, but we cheered sending “unsophisticated” manual labor jobs to other countries. After all, we were a technologically advanced super-power society that didn’t need them, or so we thought.
What we did not realize at the time was that we were losing our valuable white-collar jobs along with them. American designers, engineers, developers and managers that ran these factories lost their jobs in the China transition as well.
For a time, “USA Made” was somewhat indicative of inferior quality, particularly in the auto industry, but those times are changing. With the exception of a few, most of the manufacturers that remain in The United States today have not survived by accident or luck. Stand out quality, reasonable prices and great customer service are the driving forces behind success in a bad economy, and anything less just won’t cut it.
Joe Guy, CEO of inSPAration explains how his company managed to become the industry leader in providing Premium Hot Tub & Bath Aromatherapy Fragrances in the US:
“We have been a proud American Made product for over 35 years. Even when it would have been easier and cheaper to outsource our product, we never wavered. First of all, quality, it just couldn’t be replicated. We did not want to offer a cheap product to our loyal customers, and that is not the way to have new loyal customers. Second, we are a small family owned company. Employees who are not family, become family, we treat them like family. You don’t outsource your family’s jobs. We have definitely seen a return to American products in recent months. With the changes in the world economy, the price differences are not that great. And when a customer sees and feels the quality difference, it is an easy decision. Our international sales have increased because of these facts. For Americans, buying American just makes sense. The product is here in the U.S., there are no international shipping fees passed on to the consumer. You get a better quality product, and you are supporting American family’s jobs.”
A movement called American Made Matters partners with companies that share a goal of making it easier for consumers to pick American Made goods.
“Why does American Made Matter? The reasons are compelling including our jobs, our economy, our security and independence, our safety, our communities and strengthening the American dream.
We then seek to translate that knowledge of the importance of a strong U.S. manufacturing base into action through our members’ use of our logo on their products, packaging and marketing materials. Our logo, a common branding identity, has come to symbolize American made craftsmanship, durability, quality, product safety and ingenuity.
As it continues to gain awareness and recognition, it increasingly will be sought by Americans who understand that buying American Made Matters. It is what we can do for our country and our future!” Said Don Rongione, Founder and President of American Made Matters.
By providing an identifying sticker on US Made merchandise, companies can make it easier for consumers to know exactly where the products they are buying came from.
Changing Our Mindset, Changing Our Future
Purchasing American made goods supports the US job market and economy. But, some people feel that limiting themselves to only American made is thereby limiting their selection. This isn’t always the case. Many US manufacturers offer more selection than their foreign competition
“At Brushtech, we’ve been making brushes since 1976 in Plattsburgh, NY. Something that will never change. It’s about pride in supporting our local community and taking part in our national economy. Brushtech has had opportunities to outsource throughout the years, but ultimately, we didn’t see the benefits to the cost reductions. Quality control and service to our customers are top priorities for us, and relinquishing these priorities would be apparent and devastating to our brand if we were to outsource. Just-in-time delivery has been our ethos since the beginning, and we pride ourselves in being able to design and make custom products at our customers’ request by simply walking into our factory rather than making long distance phone calls and waiting for weeks for prototypes to arrive from overseas. We see an in-sourcing trend blooming and we hope that it will flourish and impact the bottom lines of all American made products.” explains Zaven Gunjian, VP of Sales at BrushTech Brushes.
BrushTech supplies over 20 American jobs and built their business on offering the highest quality and largest selection of brushes at a lower price than most Chinese made brands. In a niche market, BrushTech has flourished by being the best, and their stellar customer service plays no small role either.
“Domestic, in-house manufacturing is more than just a point of pride for Leisure Concepts; it is our best assurance that each and every product we make meets our own high standards for quality and durability” says Mike Genova, CEO. Leisure Concepts manufactures affordable top of the line hot tub steps in Washington State and supplies over 30 American jobs.
By making it our priority to purchase high quality American made products, we as consumers can encourage companies to stay or even return to manufacturing in the US. You & I can put America back to work. We can ensure the future and creation of jobs for our friends, family, and neighbors. We can help grow our economy.
To do our part, SpaDepot.com offers high quality USA made hot tubs. We recognize that in any economy, but especially a bad economy, cost is very important to our customers. For this reason we cut our own profits before considering raising product prices and source US made products whenever available.
How important is buying USA made to you? Tell us below.