Newest Status Symbol: “Made in America”


We’re done with buying things made in China, Americans seem to be saying. A survey of 1,012 adults conducted May 12-14 by Washington-based FTI Consulting, a business advisory firm, finds roughly 40% of Americans won't buy products from China after the novel Coronavirus outbreak. 55% doubt China will follow through on recent trade deals. But the big kicker is that 78% say they’d be willing to pay more if a company that was making their product in China returned their manufacturing plant to America.

Randy Moore, CEO of ZAF Energy Systems in Missouri, a battery-maker, would welcome the change. “I am encouraged by the thinking in Washington right now about trying to help business with the on-shoring process, and giving incentives, tax breaks, and judicious use of tariffs,” Moore tells KTRH News. He says now is the time to bring manufacturing to America, and says buying the cheapest commodity at the expense of a secure supply chain has been crippling. The pandemic, he says, has been a lesson. Moore says both the business and political will seem to be in tune with that direction.

Tensions with China have been escalating as the pain of the pandemic deepens slices into the U.S. economy. Difficulty obtaining medicines have proven particularly acute. China displaced the U.S. at the world’s top manufacturer in 2010, and China has continued its march for absolute world dominance.

The numbers, though, can be misleading some say. A pair of San Francisco Federal Reserve economists say we don’t really buy that many finished goods labeled “Made in China,” accounting for only 2.7% of U.S. consumption, but America still lags behind China in manufacturing output and agriculture, and Americans would clearly prefer to see a “Made in America” tag on the items they buy. “I think there’s a groundswell that’s building right now,” Moore says of the newfound attention products like those he’s producing are getting in this new economic climate. “People are looking at labels, and are looking to buy American when there is a choice.”

If you are among those individuals, you could be interested in websites such as “Made in America,” the world’s largest retailer for products exclusively made in the U.S. of A.

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