In the last few decades, the rise of manufactured goods from outside the United States began to take over domestic manufacturing. And although there are still companies that manufacture in-house, the majority have taken their job opportunities abroad.
It’s true that products produced in America will likely never be the cheapest option, but there are many other benefits from purchasing them.
Why Choose “Made in America?”
The numbers don’t lie. Consumer preference for purchasing goods produced in the USA have been steadily increasing. In fact, according to a Gallup survey, roughly 64% of Americans are willing to spend a bit more for something manufactured in the USA. This majority percentage may not necessarily be true 10 or 20 years ago.
So why this shift in preference? The main reason is that people believe purchasing something made in the USA means overall better quality. Better quality usually means an extended life cycle of the product. This belief has some merit to it. Generally, in-house products really do have superior quality. And with the economy recovering from the recession, people are willing to spend the extra money for a product that'll unlikely break on them.
Purchasing products made in America is a wonderful thing as an American because it creates jobs for other Americans. More jobs will lead to a healthier and boosted economy. According to a 2007 study, if consumers in Northern California Bay Area shifted just 10% of their spendings from big box retailers to local mom and pop shops, it would lead to a $192 million increase in economic activity while creating nearly 1300 new jobs.
From an ethical standpoint, manufacturing products in the USA makes a lot of sense. In many cases, products produced overseas are done in unsafe conditions. Some may call them sweatshops. There have been reports of several fatal disasters such as explosion in a Bangladesh factory. Due to loose regulations, these other countries can penny-pinch by having less than safe conditions, which sometimes lead to catastrophes. By purchasing apparel made in the USA, you’ll be able to wear your garment knowing that it was ethically made.
Price of Made in USA Products
The biggest factor that turns people away from purchasing domestically made products is the price. If you had a choice between an overseas-made hat and in-house manufactured hat that were exactly the same in style and price, people would almost always choose in-house manufactured. Now with the domestic product being much more expensive, the choice isn’t as obvious anymore.
However, the great news is that due to many years of re-building the infrastructure of manufacturing in the US, new technologies and rising global wages, the price differential isn’t as significant anymore. U.S. manufacturers have been quietly closing the gap in prices, while maintaining high quality products over the last decade. And despite the fact that home-grown products are still more expensive, it is only slightly more expensive to a point where most consumers don’t mind.
Over the next few decades with new technology and world economy growing, the price gap will get even smaller. More and more Americans will soon begin to buy Made in USA.