We generally tend to be fans of products specifically made here in Nebraska (of which there are many), but a close second is products made in the U.S.A. The interesting challenge about supporting the American economy, and one we recognize, is that consumers can struggle to take the extra time and effort to make sure they are buying products that will not only help support their community, but their country.
It can absolutely be easier, and sometimes cheaper, to purchase products outsourced to China or Taiwan or food that’s been shipped in instead of locally grown. And for those who don’t have that extra time or money, sometimes supporting American-manufactured products isn’t the easiest thing to do.
However, we’re willing to make the argument that taking a little extra time and effort is worth it. As we wrote about on the blog a few weeks ago, American manufacturing is growing at the fastest rate it has in 3.5 years (and the Nebraska manufacturing industry is healthy and growing as well). This growth is important to the United States economy, and demand for American-made and manufactured products is essential to this growth. As many are aware, this is a complex and multi-faceted issue, but an important one nonetheless.
So what exactly constitutes a product Made in the U.S.A? It isn’t as simple as it sounds, actually. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a product is labeled as Made in America if at least 75% of the finished product is “US content,” including parts and labor, based on the cost of the goods sold. According to Independent Retailer, “The product must also be finally assembled in America. It seems straightforward, but this can lead to some confusing situations. For example, many of Toyota’s cars, which are manufactured and assembled in the United States, are more ‘American’ than Ford’s cars, even though Toyota is a foreign-owned operation.”
This means that it’s important for consumers to do their research before assuming a brand or product is made in the United States (or if you hope to support Nebraskan manufacturers, same goes for Nebraska). There are other reasons for buying American-made in addition to the economic benefits.
For instance, buying American made products is a more environmentally friendly and humane choice compared with products that have to be shipped across the world. And oftentimes, overseas manufacturers rarely have the same levels of humane treatment for workers that exist in the U.S. This has come back to bite a few companies, including Apple, who was investigated in 2012 for subpar conditions producing iPhones in a Taiwan-based factory. It’s important to know that the phone you’re using or microwave you’re heating dinner in didn’t cause harm to somebody else or further inhumane working conditions for children and minorities.
So take the time, do the research, and explore your options when it comes to buying American-made products. Our economy will thank you! If you have questions about anything manufactured here in Nebraska, send us a tweet or comment anytime and we’d be happy to help!