Musings on Sports, Politics and Life in general

Buy American

It’s a wonderful idea. ABC News is even running a series, with the idea being that if everyone buys American products, then employment will jump.

The only question is, what really constitutes an American product these days? Up until a few years ago, you could reasonably assume that if the brand was GE, Kenmore or Chevrolet, the item was designed, parts sourced and finally assembled somewhere in the United States. If it was Toyota, it was surely coming from Japan; Philips came from Denmark, and BMW was a German as apple strudel.

Today, BMW’s biggest assembly plant is in Spartanburg, South Carolina. And the car with the most American manufacturing is the Subaru Outback, built in Lafayette, Indiana. GE, meanwhile, builds 60% of its products outside of the US and recently transferred its locomotive division to Brazil. The Motor Trend car of the year, the Chevrolet Volt, was mostly American. Not any more – GE is moving power train assembly to China.

The question now is, how is a consumer supposed to know the difference between American made and foreign made if brand is inconsequential? Oh, and you can’t trust those “Made in the USA” labels, either. The Federal Trade Commission has changed those standards – so long as a product is packaged here in the US, it can claim to be US made (even if it’s only packaged here).

I’d love to hear your take on this topic. Feel free to spout off in the comments below.

One response

  1. Sharon J

    very true! Nissan has a huge factory/plant in Smyrna, Tn. I’ve heard that one of the American made cars (can’t remember which) is returning to the US for their manufacturing or parts. Something about it being to dangerous and not so cheap.

    January 11, 2012 at 7:28 am

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