Does more than you imagine to help our country recover from Covid-19
By: Greg Owens, Co-Founder and CEO, Sherrill Manufacturing/Liberty Tabletop
What a strange world we live in. Full of anxiety, anger, blame, and so many versions of the truth most of us don’t know what to believe, let alone what to do. Fortunately, we live in a country of doers. We are a people that don’t just sit around and wait for someone else to solve their problems. Americans more than ever are searching for ways they can take action to help bring our country back from the Covid-19 nightmare. Here is a big one that we can start today. We don’t need permission, we don’t need to wait for Washington, we just need to do it. The impact will be massive, positive and immediate. We need to make sure that we spend every dime of our stimulus money on products that are Made in the USA!
There are many ways to accomplish this but no lack of obstacles in the way. It seems easy but the truth is that you do have to do a little work to do your part. The purpose of this article is to help you navigate the wide variety of consumer goods and find those that are Made in America.
Let’s start with the web. If we have grown increasingly accustomed to one thing during the pandemic it is using e-commerce as a means to acquire the things we use every day. When looking for American made items sometimes it is as simple as typing in the item you are looking for followed by the words “Made in USA”. If there is a company out there that still makes what you are looking for in the United States then chances are you will find them fairly easily. You have to be careful though. Brands are aware that the Made in USA brand is more popular than it has been in decades and in some cases try to deceive you with flags, qualified made in USA claims and sometimes just outright intentional deception. For more information on this click here and read about how companies have literally hijacked the Made in USA brand. This will help you avoid buying something that you think is American made only to discover that it was made in China when the package arrives.
Browsing the internet item by item can be tedious and time consuming. You also may miss many opportunities to buy cool American made stuff that you never dreamed was available. To help you with this here is a list of several websites dedicated to Made in USA products. These range from products that are 100% made in the USA to those that have “significant content” made in the USA so if that is important to you please read the fine print. At the end of the day all of these companies are doing their part to promote Made in America and make it easy for you to shop online.
- Buy Direct USA
- Made in America Co.
- USA Lovelist
- Made in USA Forever
- The Made in America Store
- Liberty Tabletop
So why is this so important?
Keeping American manufacturing companies alive and growing
As many of you know retail sales have become a race to the bottom which means find the cheapest place possible to make it, then cut quality to the lowest acceptable level and sell in volume through mass retail. Let’s face it, given all of the strategic industrial policies in the world, slave wages, subsidies, currency manipulation etc…, the United States is rarely the cheapest source of anything. This is why our industrial base, particularly for consumer products, has deteriorated over the past three decades. It is time to level the playing field and bring that back. The good news is that buying direct from an American manufacturer can actually save you money by cutting out the middleman markups, which can add up to as much as 90% of what you pay in a store. Even though it costs more to make it here you can support domestic producers and still pay the same price at the retail level.
Encouraging companies that may have off-shored production to bring it back
I always encourage folks to ask for American made while shopping in stores and online. We recently launched a campaign called “where is it made” which encouraged everyone to ask the question in the comments section of online social media ads. What this does is send a strong message to those brands that consumers care about where their products are made, and it gives you the information that is usually missing from their ads. The message trickles up through those who are managing the social media to the marketing department and eventually to upper management in the company. The more people who do this, the louder the voice. Try it. It is kind of fun and the responses you get are sometimes very humorous! Click here for more information on “where is it made”
Supporting our industrial base in the interest of our national defense
On a serious note the whole PPE experience taught us a frightening lesson. Decades of offshoring products and production capacity put us in a scary quandary when we realized that we depend on foreign supply of PPE as well as the pharmaceuticals that we needed to confront the pandemic. A massive effort is underway to correct this but that is limited to only a few manufacturing sectors. Largely forgotten is the consumer products sector which used to employ millions. Gone are the days when any number of factories could have switched production to urgently needed items in times of a pandemic or a war. It is time to fix that and re-establish the United States as a leader in manufacturing, engineering, and entrepreneurship.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The pandemic shut our economy down and millions of jobs were lost as a result. Certain sectors of the economy will come back but others will not, nor will the jobs that were lost during our national nightmare. Bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States to replace some of those jobs, mainly in the service sector which may never return, is critical to healing our national economy. In addition, manufacturing jobs are typically career jobs with higher pay and better benefits than in the retail or hospitality arena. Reestablishing our manufacturing base is key to rebuilding our middle class.
So what can you do?
Buy American. It is that simple. If everyone does this with their stimulus money and continues to do so into the holiday season this year, the American economy will come roaring back and we will be able to put 2020 behind us then look towards a much brighter future for all. It does take a bit of an effort to type in those there extra words, ask the question or flip the box over but in the end it is worth billions to our economy. Please join us in taking the Made in America challenge and pledge to buy American wherever and whenever possible. For more information on the pledge click here. Let’s do it!
For more information on Made in America and American manufacturing issues here are links to three excellent organizations. They do an outstanding job focusing on the issue without the partisan politics. They also provide a much deeper understanding of the issues that you get in any newspaper on TV. To find out more or get directly involved click the following links: