According to Consumer Reports, 80% of Americans prefer to buy American made products over foreign made, and more than 60% say they would be willing to spend 10% more to buy products made in the USA. But why? What compels a consumer to seek out products made here in the US, versus products that may be cheaper when made overseas? There are several reasons consumers make this choice. Let’s look at a few.

  1. Buying American Creates American Jobs: Seems obvious. The more products made in the USA, the more need there is for American workers to make, market, sell, and distribute those products. But it’s more than that. More workers mean a bigger tax base for local sales tax, Social Security, and Medicare, helping the local economy and the disabled and elderly in our communities. The local community benefits as well. The Center for Automotive Research estimated that for every new job in manufacturing, nine other jobs are saved or created in everything from restaurant and retail to parts manufacturing.
  2. American Made Products Are Higher Quality: The perception is that the quality of products made here in America is better than products made overseas, particularly in Asia. This notion comes from the regulations and consumer protections we have here versus what is lacking in oversight in the Eastern countries. Interestingly, this perception of quality persists even in overseas markets. Demand for American made products is particularly high in China, where quality standards, when they exist, are far inferior to the standards we have here in the US.
  3. Better Conditions for the Worker: We’ve all seen the reports of the abuse of garment workers in Cambodia and Indonesia, substandard conditions in Chinese factories that make parts for iPhones, and the deaths of over a thousand workers at a factory in Bangladesh. Although some reforms have taken place, manufacturing facilities, particularly in Southeast Asia, just don’t have the safety and health standards that exist here in America. This lack of oversight has led to physical and sexual abuse, child labor, and toxic work environments for thousands of workers that make products imported to the United States.
  4. Better for the Environment: Buying products made here helps the environment in several ways. First, not having to ship products from overseas saves in fuel costs. Imagine how much fuel it takes to send even one container ship from China to the US? Second, toxic chemicals. We’ve all read about lead in toys and dangerous dog food, but foreign workers are exposed to toxic chemicals at an alarming rate. In 2005 alone, more than 386,000 Chinese workers died due to illnesses contracted by their work environment toxins. Third, recycling regulations are spotty at best in foreign manufacturing. China no longer accepts recyclable materials from foreign countries. Those materials were used in the manufacture of many plastic and paper goods. Now that they have cut off the foreign supply, there is concern about whether China will be able to recycle its own waste into manufactured products. China doesn’t have a good track record for domestic recycling. In fact, China is the number one offender in terms of plastics in the ocean.
  5. Supply Chain Issues Due to Covid-19. Buying products made in the USA has increased importance during the Coronavirus pandemic. Not only are products made here keeping our fellow Americans employed, but many times it can mean getting your product faster. Products from outside of the US have been delayed in production and shipping. Ordering from American manufacturers can mean the difference between receiving your product when you want it – or not. Many individuals, businesses and government agencies are putting a renewed focus on buying American. For example, Sarasota County in Florida has created a policy to ensure their local government is giving preference to American made products. And they’re not alone. According to USA Today, 40% of Americans are seeking alternatives to products stamped “Made in China”.

When you are considering a purchase, check out if you can buy a product made in the USA. It’s worth checking labels and country of origin information before you purchase so you know whether the items you buy for home or work are supporting your community or are imported from overseas. All WCI’s bags are made here in the United States. We pride ourselves in employing our neighbors, using recycled materials, and the quality of our goods and services.