American manufacturing has a long history, ranging from the creation of 95 percent of all clothing sold in the US in New York City, reports Highsnobiety, to startups designing mobile device covers and protectors, explains The New York Times. But, the distinction of “American Made” products is garnering attention in politics and the American people due to its sustainability, ethical superiority and “shop-local” taglines.
Unfortunately, some manufacturers have used the “American Made” label to deceive customers, creating uncertainty about the future of American manufacturing. However, “American Made” remains a cornerstone of modern manufacturing in the U.S., and you need to understand a few things about its importance.
Why Is “American Made” Important?
Quality is one of the primary reasons “American Made” is important to consumers and manufacturers. Many foreign manufacturers do not have the extensive safety and quality assurance measures that are in place in the U.S. As a result; products may not function as described, or they may pose harm due to poor craftsmanship.
For example, some manufacturers abroad have cut corners in manufacturing tools, resulting in poorer function and life expectancy of the product, according to Garage Tool Advisor. But, that does not classify all products manufactured by companies abroad as bad. Ultimately, it goes back to what types of laws and requirements are being followed by the company manufacturing the products from foreign countries. If laws ensuring fair and ethical treatment of the workforce are present, the chances of poor quality are reduced, but in countries where manufacturing laws allow for unethical treatment of workers, the chances of manufacturing poor-quality products are much higher. After all, who wants to work their best when the pay is abysmal?
The Legality of American Made on Goods.
With the rise of social media and the internet, it has become increasingly easy for manufacturers to tout claims of “American Made” products. In reality, making this claim falsely is illegal, regardless of what the manufacturers believe. But, a few other rules affect “American Made” labeling too, which include the following:
- Textiles, wool, fur and automobiles must disclose U.S. contents used in production.
- Products must be “all or virtually” made in the U.S. to carry the “American Made” label. However, small parts may be made overseas and used in the manufacturing process.
- Manufacturers using this label must prove all significant content used is of American origin.
- Some limited “American Made” claims are eligible for products that were significantly transformed during manufacturing, explains the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Ultimately, the specific wording used in the “American Made” claim can help consumers figure out where the product originated. Also, incorrectly labeling a product can make it look deceptive without necessarily breaking the rules. For example, “Assembled in the USA” may look like an explanation of the “American Made” slogan, but let’s take a closer look.
The only thing we know is that the product was assembled in the U.S. It could have been almost completely manufactured overseas, meaning it is not “Made in America.” However, the wording of this label is not illegal under the existing guidelines.
Does “American Made” Benefit Manufacturers?
Products “American Made” benefit manufacturers by promoting local spending and strengthening of the U.S. economy. In other words, a consumer who purchases an item manufactured domestically will probably be willing to pay more for the product than a foreign competitor’s product.
Similarly, since the product was manufactured here, any monies spent on purchasing the product will directly translate into more capital for the U.S. manufacturer, which will result in the continual flow of monies within the U.S. itself. Public perception is also an important part of the “American Made” Movement. People on social media are continually looking for American-made products, and more Americans are embracing small-business shopping, such as Shop Small-Business Saturday after Black Friday.
How Will Made in USA Evolve in the Future?
With time, “American Made” will grow in popularity and importance, and the current election is serving to resolve further of the American public to shop locally and for American-Made products. Also, women and minority groups are quickly rising and becoming more involved in the “Made in America” Movement.
Contrary to initial belief, “American Made” is not a one-race, undiversified ideal. In fact, up to 28 percent of all members of the “American Made” Movement, Maker’s Row, are minority groups, and “American Made” is focusing on encouraging reshoring and promoting products that have been manufactured in the U.S. in their entirety. But, there are a few other interesting facts found in the following infographic, #IAmAmericanMade, created by Maker’s Row, that show how widespread the beliefs in the importance of “American Made” truly are.