Gray Matter


American Made Products Are Items Made in the United States

RT Cunningham | July 26, 2020 (UTC) | Shopping

American MadeAny adult American knows that anything made in the United States is considered American made. The Federal Trade Commission requires “all or virtually all” of the product to be made in the USA to legally bear the label. If some of the materials come from elsewhere, it can still be considered American made.

I can’t say most products made outside the United States are of lower quality than American made products, but I can say it for most products made in China. I don’t know how to express it, but Americans have come to accept low quality products made elsewhere as a matter of course.

American Made Product Sources

While I was looking for a specific type of product this morning, I found most of those listed at to be made in China. I had to search using specific phrases, which included “made in the United States”, to eventually find what I was looking for. It cost a little more than the Chinese version but according to the customer reviews, the quality was considerably better.

I found an article at a website called “Clark”, which lists 100 percent American made brands. I’ve bookmarked it for future reference. If you’re looking for higher quality products, I suggest you take a look at it. I also suggest you peruse the comments for sources not mentioned in the article.

Raw Materials

American companies started outsourcing labor years ago. They didn’t have to pay unemployment insurance or match government deductions like they had to do with American workers. Consequently, the quality of most of their products started declining.

Let’s take hand tools for example. I don’t remember the Chinese brand name of the tool kit I bought at Home Depot in 2005, pending my move to the Philippines in 2006. I do remember the tools were covered with rust before I was there even a year. The brand name wasn’t Black & Decker, Stanley, Craftsman or Snap-on. One of those brands would have probably cost more but wouldn’t have rusted at all.

The power tools with the Stanley Black & Decker (Black & Decker and Stanley merged) brand name on them are made in China. Craftsman is now owned by Stanley Black & Decker. The next time I need a power drill or a hand tool, I’ll look elsewhere.

I question the sources of raw materials. Does the cowhide used in the leather products at North Star Leather (as an example) come from American cattle? Does the steel used in American cars come from American steel mills?

We need more factories in the United States, so we don’t have to rely on materials sourced from outside the United States. I’m tired of putting shirts back on the rack when the tags say they’re made in India or China. Don’t we have any textile mills left in the United States?

American Made Products and Balikbayan Boxes

My wife, Josie, and I are a buying American made products when we’re in the United States. We ship them to the Philippines using one or more balikbayan boxes per year. The products that look like them in the Philippines are actually made in China.

Neither of us want to put up with low quality products in our house in the Philippines anymore. They just don’t last.

Photo Attribution: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in May 2020.

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