Made in America: What it Means to the Country
You probably know that imported products are cheaper. But are they really cheaper than products that are made in America?
Buying American-made products creates jobs all over the country - better jobs. As of 2016, American manufacturing adds $6 Trillion to our economy, accounting for 12 million jobs.
Even more, that 12 million figure doesn’t include the jobs created in the transportation of components and finished goods. Increase the 12 million jobs again when you add warehouse workers and support staff. Most, if not all, are paid a comfortable wage.
There are certainly no amenities in overseas factories. Adults and children swelter in heat, work under harsh light, and live in poverty. Rules are strict. The US has fair labor laws and child protection laws - China does not.
Overseas factories seem to have no regard for Mother Earth. Smokestacks are prevalent. US regulations discourage pollution – and China does not. Just the shipping by boat contributes five percent of world pollution.
The factories overseas are huge warehouses, where workers’ pay is determined by the piece – the number of items they can produce in one hour, for instance. They work fast - right or wrong. There is limited quality control. Even worse, businesses who produce overseas generally use cheaper components in their products. It’s a lose/lose situation.
Imports are also questionable in safety. Many imported goods have arrived with poisons and dangerous chemicals. We’ve received radioactive steel, toxic dog food and poisonous flooring products.
Economics and Debt
Because the US imports more than we export, we have a trade deficit. Even a small deficit puts our country in serious debt, but ours is large and wide.
American debt rises each time an import is purchased - three percent of our wealth is lost overseas. It’s estimated that buying imported goods has cost the US well over eight trillion dollars over time.
Some companies insist on American manufacturing; others are dedicated only to keeping production costs as low as possible, which means factories in China and impoverished nations.
Made In America is Something to Brag About
Some American manufacturing is based on exquisite craftsmanship – with a reputation to match. Leatherworking and woodworking, blacksmithing and fine art produce superior products. Many American factories dot the US landscape as well, automating production of a variety of goods.
Many companies insist on Made in America. Some consumers insist on Made in America, too. There is pride in owning a US-made item, long-believed to be of superior quality.
Don't Let the Naysayers Fool You, US Manufacturing is Strong
Our good friends at Morai Logistics wrote an article discussing the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI) that discusses this further and offers up the following key points on why American manufacturing will continue to dominate.
- The U.S is highly competitive in terms of the share of high skill and technology contribution to exports and labor productivity as measured to gross domestic product (GDP) due to continued heavy investment in talent and technology.
- Among the BRIC nations, manufacturing executives expressed optimism for only China and India by 2020. The other three – Brazil, Russia and India – have seen continuous declines in the study’s rankings over the past six years, despite aspirations that they may emerge as manufacturing goliaths.
- Brazil’s political uncertainty, Russia’s geopolitical activities and impact from the slide in global crude oil prices, matched with India’s challenged economic and policy actions around infrastructure and investments, have likely triggered the decline from the BRIC’s manufacturing competitiveness peak.
- The U.S. stands out as the anchor for the North American region with the highest level of manufacturing investments, a strong energy profile, and high-quality talent, infrastructure and innovation. Canada’s low trade barriers, tariff-free zone and investments in sectors key to its growing high-tech manufacturing future, along with Mexico’s 40 free trade agreements, low labor costs and close proximity to the U.S. round out the region.