This article written by the Reshoring Initiative Editorial Team originally appeared on the Reshore Now blog on October 15, 2014
It is no secret that the last decade has brought a surge in demand for products made in the USA. But it was only recently we realized how much the “Buy American” movement has evolved.
In a recent survey conducted by American Certified, 1500 people across the nation were asked the question, “Other than price/ quality, what factor is most important to you when purchasing a product?”
Of the 1500 people surveyed, an overwhelming majority of respondents(51.9%) chose “Made in the USA”. The second most important factor was “Locally-made,” with 17% of participants choosing this option. The other choices included in this survey (listed in decreasing order of importance to participants) were
Eco-Friendly, Union-made, Other, Veteran-owned, and Woman or Minority-owned businesses.
What’s amazing is that this preference towards American-made goods is even more influential in the purchasing decisions of Americans over age 65. For this demographic, 66.2% of survey takers answered that “Made in the USA “ was the most important buying factor to them outside of price and quality. The survey results give us important insight into the new psyche of shoppers. It seems that more Americans are basing purchasing decisions on ethical and patriotic criteria, opting for more expensive Made in USA products over cheap and poorly made overseas items. We can also speculate that customers understand that keeping production on American soil ensures safe conditions and fair labor practices for workers.
As labor costs rise overseas in places like China, U.S.-based manufacturers are seeing new opportunities to produce domestically. This movement and preference towards American-made goods tells us that Americans are beginning to realize the correlation between buying USA-made products and the advancement of U.S. manufacturing (and thus a better economic outlook).
American Certified (www.AmericanCertified.com) commissioned this survey as part of their ongoing mission to empower Americans to buy USA made clothing, Sporting goods, appliances, and more. With millions of American-made products across thousands of categories, American Certified makes it easy for consumers to know where their products come from and where their money goes.
How Total Cost of Ownership Enables American-Made
The not-for-profit Reshoring Initiative works to convince manufacturers that they can produce more products in America competitively. By using the complimentary Total Cost of Ownership Estimator™ on the ReshoreNow.org website, we demonstrate how local production and local sourcing often reduces their total cost, making the decision to manufacture domestically a profitable one.
U.S. Reshoring helps manufacturers recover from offshoring’s poor quality, trade secret thefts, supply chain disruptions and lengthy delivery times – all while staying cost competitive. Our user data shows that 25% of manufacturing would come back now if companies used total cost (TCO) instead of price to make their decisions. Thus creating a 10% increase in U.S. manufacturing.
Reshoring, American-Made and U.S. Job Creation
The most important action is to focus as much on reducing imports as increasing exports. Think of it this way, another word for reducing imports is reshoring.
Our trade deficit in goods equals about 25% of our manufacturing output – so if we balance the trade deficit by substituting domestic production for imports, we will increase manufacturing employment by 3-4 million jobs and overall employment by 6-8 million jobs due to the manufacturing multiplier effect. Manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other major economic activity – $1 spent in manufacturing generates $1.35-$1.58 in additional economic activity in other sectors.
How Can You Help?
Now is the time to collectively make a difference. We can help manufacturers reshore what they can make here instead of offshoring, help retailers understand the advantages of selling more “made-in-America” products and encourage more consumers to request American-made.
We applaud American Certified and their ongoing efforts to “empower Americans to buy high quality, USA-made products which directly support American workers and the economy.”
The Reshoring Initiative is focused on helping companies’ shift collective thinking from “offshoring is cheaper” to “local reduces the total cost of ownership.” We do this by assisting manufacturers and suppliers in making sourcing decisions by providing valuable tools and resources on the ReshoreNow.org website.
About the author: The Reshore Initiative Editorial Team is comprised of dedicated individuals focused on growing our U.S. manufacturing sector.