Posts Tagged ‘Made in USA’

Not made in the U.S.A.

December 29, 2010

I was watching a Modern Marvels segment on Christmas tech and it hit me square in the face how many of our products are now made outside the United States. Into the mid-20th century just about every holiday decoration and trapping was made right here in the good ole U.S.A. It’s not the case today. During a quick search of the depleted holiday shelves this week, I could only find one Christmas product made in the U.S. – candy canes.

Spangler Candy Co. has been making candy canes since 1906, but Bob’s, owned by Farley’s and Sathers Candy Co., claims to be the largest candy cane maker in the world.

At least we have corned the live-tree market. The Chinese have not figured out a way to grow live Christmas trees yet so almost all trees are still grown in the U.S. with the majority coming from Oregon and North Carolina.

If you have ever run across one of the massive Christmas tree farms in your travels, you understand how big a business it is. There are between 25 million and 30 million trees sold each year in the U.S., according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Eighty percent of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. It’s a safe bet that at least that percentage of holiday light strings are also made in China, a country that does not even celebrate the holiday.

In addition, most of the gifts we purchase – from toys to electronics – are not manufactured in the U.S.

You can find loads of American-made products on websites such as toysmadeinamerica.com and americansworking.com. But looking at the sites you soon discover that the vast majority of the hot items from major manufacturers are not made in the U.S. It’s sad that you have to search for U.S. products that way. Remember when Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer with revenue of $404 billion in 2009, placed signs boasting about selling U.S. products? Those signs at the entrance to stores all over the country slowly disappeared years ago.

It really is all about the bottom line.

Mattel, the largest toy maker by revenue, closed its last U.S. plant way back in 2002 and outsourced almost all of its manufacturing to China.

Do you think your Apple computer, iPhone or iPod is made in the U.S.? Apple products, at least according to information posted on the internet, are made from components produced all over the globe, but are usually assembled in China. Wii was invented in Japan but is made in China using some U.S. technology.

Finding a big-screen TV made in the USA is about as hard as finding the Holy Grail. But, at least one company, Snytax-Brillan, plans to start assembling its high-end Olevia sets in Ontario, Calif.

More than 90 percent of our clothing is made beyond our borders with a third coming from China.

That statement brings me to the reason for the blog in the first place (it took me a while to get here). I was interested in purchasing a nice sweatshirt in Peebles that had a large U.S. flag on the front – that was until I saw where it was made, and it wasn’t China.

“Made in Russia” was on the tag. Can you believe it? We really live in a mixed up world when clothing with U.S. flags on it is made in a Moscow factory.

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