Posted by: nancycurteman | October 10, 2011

Buy “Made in America”


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This evening I digress from my usual blog topics of mystery writing and travel. I want to share one of my passionate beliefs: Americans should buy “Made in America” products. I’ve heard the litany of reasons for buying products made outside our country—these days those products are difficult to find; the cost for American products is more expensive; some products may not be manufactured in this country. Based on my personal experience trying to buy “made in America,” I find these arguments weak. Here’s what I do:

• Before I even consider purchasing anything, I first check to see if it’s American made. If it’s not, I don’t buy it. I will ask a clerk to help me find the American-made product. I’ve found them very willing to help and usually they are able locate a U.S. made product that will work for me. If not, I go to another store. If that doesn’t work, I search the internet. I’ve always found what I needed. By the way, don’t confuse “distributed in America by blank company” with “made in America.” Distributed often means imported!

• I’ve found some American-made products to be more expensive than imports, but the price difference is small and in many cases the U.S. made product is the same price and sometimes less. However, I’m willing to pay more for American-made products because in the long run, as a citizen, benefit from keeping Americans working.

• As for the view that some things are not manufactured in this country, this is true. However, those products are usually specialty items unique to the country of origin and are not competing with American-made goods. In general, the demand for these products is somewhat limited.

I want to urge all Americans to consider putting forth the effort required to buy “Made in America.” We can make a difference.



  1. Hard to find. Many things are ‘assembled’ in America but the parts still are made overseas. I found a toy source for made in America toys and some of them had to be taken off the list because of the above.
    Boeing’s new 787 is assembled at the plant in Seattle but the materials/parts were mostly if not all, made elsewhere. Not sure I want to ride in it.


  2. How can we solve this problem of imported parts being ‘assembled’ in the U.S.? This is not “made in America.” Maybe the Wall street demonstrators should add companies like Boeing to their list of grievances. Do you have the URL for the American-made toys?


  3. The problem is that most of our technology today is only assembled here. iPhones, iPads, TVs… It is very hard to get away from it. I wonder if we shouldn’t be pushing for a globally viable economy?


    • A balanced, equitable, fair global economy would be great. However, clearly not every nation is on board for that. So until all are ready for that higher standard, let’s stop manufacturing parts abroad. Let’s manufacture and assemble our iPhones etc. here.


  4. Good discussion and I support your goal. Very difficult to buy Canadian also but I make an effort to look……


    • Canada and the U.S. are children of a common mother and should work together to promote buying North American made.


  5. Good idea, but we shall continue to be awash in foreign-made products as long as the cost of labor in production is so low abroad. One steel worker who worked on the billion-dollar new Bay Bridge (made in China) was paid $1.70 an hour.


    • Cheap labor is a problem for us. However, I heard the other day that labor salaries are going up in China and some companies are looking at bringing some manufacturing home because by the time they add in the increased labor cost and shipping expense, U.S. manufacturing is looking better.


  6. I buy very little these days other than food . . . and I try to buy locally grown organic when I can.

    I also refuse to shop at Walmart since the Waltons are “evil.”


    • Locally grown food is the way to go. Better quality, better for the environment and no imported ingredients. I’m with you.


  7. Locally manufactured is also the way to go whenever possible. I try to buy even things like furniture items made locally. It’s hard and expensive (sometimes) and I spend more time shopping than I’d like, but it’s one of the ways I try to reduce my carbon footprint. If it’s something I simply cannot find Made in America (workout shoes, for instance), then I go for the closest geographic proximity to the US. I pick Italy over Turkey, and Mexico over Italy, for example.

    Incidentally, buying Made in Mexico has the advantage of helping their economy, which COULD help with our immigration problem.

    But above all, I try not to buy Made in China!


  8. I agree with everything you say. I would add, if I can’t find American-made, I think very carefully about whether I could find a substitute item or if I could survive without making the purchase at all. Great comments. Thank you.


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