Finding a product that doesn't bear a foreign label is a nearly impossible task. After all, when manufacturers can find labor and materials overseas for a fraction of the price, why would they bother building factories on American shores?
The short answer is that every choice we make affects our surroundings and our country, for better or for worse. When companies choose to produce their goods on American shores, that creates a positive ripple affect across the country that can be felt for years.
As the consumer, you can help influence manufacturer's preferences by selecting products that were made in the good ol' USA. Here are the top 10 reasons to buy American-made products.
1.) Create Jobs
When you buy American, you create American jobs. According to a 2015 report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the USA lost 5.7 million jobs to overseas workers between 1998 and 2013. Help reverse the trend by choosing American goods!
2.) Decrease Pollution
We can regulate our own carbon emissions and protect the environment in the USA, but we can't tell other nations what to do. Many of the countries that produce goods for American companies have little regard for the environment and for green usage of resources. Soil, air and water are regularly abused and priceless resources are needlessly wasted.
When you buy American, you are helping to preserve our beautiful world for future generations.
3.) Guaranteed Quality of Goods
Sure, the clothing, toys and trinkets that bear the "Made in China" label come with a cheaper price tag, but you'll usually get cheaper quality as well. In contrast, products proudly tagged as "Made in the USA" can be counted on for unsurpassed quality, expert craftsmanship and attention to detail.
In fact, when you consider the cost-per-use of each item, foreign-made goods that don't last as long as their American counterparts end up being more expensive.
It's not just the health of foreign workers that's at rick when you buy products manufactured overseas - it's also your own that's in jeopardy. Products made abroad are not subject to strict rules and regulations like American-made goods are. There were several instances during which toys made in China and sold in the USA were declared unsafe and had to be recalled. Many posed a choking hazard; others contained dangerous chemicals like lead paint and kerosene.
5.) Boost American Investment Opportunities
A boost in American manufacturing means a boost in American investment opportunities. Naturally, increased investments mean a surge for the entire economy.
6.) Protect Human Rights
Many countries that produce goods for American companies have few or no regulations protecting the rights and safety of employees. An astonishing 2015 report from the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights revealed that the Chinese workers producing toys for American brands, like Mattel, Hasbro and Disney, were forced to work 12-to 13hour days and sleep on wooden bunk beds in dingy, unheated dormitories. Another report discovered child labor at a factory created to produce clothing for Walmart and JCPenney.
By supporting American-made goods, you are silently protesting these atrocities.
7.) Ripple Effect
When you choose "Made in USA," your money does more than create manufacturing jobs. The wages those American workers earned because of your choice goes back into our own economy. American taxes are paid. More American products are purchased and services paid for. The economy grows, thanks to your choices.
Incredibly, the EPI estimates that every US manufacturing job creates an additional 1.4 jobs in other parts of the economy.
8.) Reduce the Trade Deficit
Tough economic times have placed the USA in an unfavorable position with foreign markets. Help reduce and eventually eliminate our country's trade deficit by investing in American products.
Every foreign-made product you purchase needs to be shipped to the USA. That's often from practically across the world. All that travel comes with a hefty price in carbon footprints. Precious resources, like petroleum, are wasted in transport and unnecessary, harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere.
Conserve our resources and buy American!
10.) Avoid Foreign Political Debates
Importing goods to the USA can mean facing loads of red tape and barriers, especially with nations that currently have tense relationships with America. By buying American goods, you'll avoid those obstacles completely.
So, you're convinced: You're buying American. But what now? How can you follow through on your resolution when nearly every product you pick up is created on foreign shores?
To find those elusive American products, you may need to be persistent and spend some time checking labels. To make that task easier, check out the hundreds of sites dedicated to supporting American goods like Americans Working and the USA Love List.