Coming Home: 'Made In the USA' Gains Momentum

The coronavirus pandemic has given a new boost to the Made in America movement. Recent surveys show Americans prefer to buy products made here, and nearly two-thirds of North American manufacturers now say they are likely to bring manufacturing and sourcing back to this continent.

Among those sharing that sentiment is Randy Moore, CEO of ZAF Energy Systems, a Missouri-based developer of battery technologies. "About 80 percent of all battery materials go through China, and so we have launched an initiative to start our own nickel hydroxide plants here in the United States ourselves," says Moore.

Moore tells KTRH the pandemic and its negative impact on China's economy and Chinese-U.S. relations has finally caused more companies to see the big picture. "For a long time, business leaders have been so focused on the short term...what are this month's profits, what's this quarter's quarterly report going to look like," he says. "Now the culture is changing to not be so focused on just the profits for this quarter, but are we gonna have a business three years, five years, a decade from now."

Of course, moving production back to America will mean higher labor and production costs, which will translate to higher prices. "Consumers are going to have to make that choice," says Moore. "When they see two items side by side and one costs a nickel more because it's made in America, they're going to have to make the decision if that's worth that nickel to them."

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