Made in America, Made for the World

by Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

In a special July 4 guest column at the AFL-CIO blog, Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing says one way we can all show our patriotism and boost the economy is to do our best to buy American-made products.

Enjoy the fireworks today and thank our Founding Fathers for the freedom we enjoy. While you are at it, thank them for making manufacturing a central part of the American idea.

Paul Revere was a patriot; he was also a manufacturer. In fact, the company bearing his name still operates today, now in upstate New York. Alexander Hamilton is well known as our nation’s first Treasury secretary, but few Americans know that he also wrote our nation’s first manufacturing policy in 1791.

That manufacturing policy, coupled with the best workers, resources, universities and economic development strategy, made us the world’s leading manufacturer by 1900. It’s a title we held for 110 years, and sadly, one we are now relinquishing to China.

Our nation faces dramatically different challenges today than we did in 1776, but we could use some of that revolutionary spirit. If are you as tired as I am of the stale debate in Washington on the future of our economy, take matters into your own hands: Buy American.

If every American spent $64 a year more on American-made products, we’d create 200,000 new jobs. Talk about a stimulus plan.

It’s easier to Buy American than you might think. ABC World News gutted a house of imports and restocked it with American-made products. A store in upstate New York sells only Made in America goods; it has become a tourist destination and offers 30,000 items. A concerted effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) led the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., to open an American-made gift shop. Urban manufacturing coalitions are forming in cities like New York and San Francisco. “Maker Faires” are popping up all over America, celebrating our ingenuity and desire to work with our hands and well as our minds.

There is plenty that Washington could do to create more family-supporting manufacturing jobs, such as holding China accountable for unfair trade practices, investing in infrastructure, boosting skills and training opportunities, strengthening domestic procurement preferences, making the tax code friendlier to domestic production (and penalizing outsourcers) and investing in clean energy. And we need to make sure all of that gets done.

But why wait? You can declare your own economic independence this Fourth of July. Spend a little more on American-made goods. Ask your coworkers, friends and neighbors to do the same. Challenge the big box stores to stock more American-made products, because the demand is there. We live in a globalized world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have pride in our nation, our workers and the things we make. The world is a better place when America has a strong economy, a healthy manufacturing base and a labor movement filled with a sense of purpose.

This post first appeared on the blog of the AFL-CIO.




Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


Susan P.
Susan P5 years ago

I hardly never see "Made in America" and I am very sick of this. These Maniacs that have been outsourcing American jobs to other countries have been destroying the pride we have in our country. Even some products that say "USA Made" isn't true such as the chicken jerky treats for dogs. There is a major lawsuit against the company that manufactured these. I have given to my dogs for years and they are sick. So many pets have been dieing and have cancer. These chicken jerky strips always said that they are healthy treats and dogs love them. Right dogs do love them but dogs have been dieing from eating them. These treats were actually made in China. The packaging is false. Too late for many dogs that are gone due to this farce. I want to see "Made in the USA". I think that it is very depressing to all of us that are citizens of this country and have had generations of U.S. citizens. It has hurt our pride. These horrible greedy people that buy up companies here and outsource jobs to different countries ,like Romney, are killing our country. No more "Made in China, Taiwan, India, etc.etc. etc. Enough is enough.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

Thanks I wish it were that simple. I buy alot Anerican maid but so often it is imposible to find stuff.

Joe L.
Joe Lade6 years ago

Check into the "Transitions Towns" movement. I believe it's the way the world is headed.
I'm Canadian so I'll by Canadian first. Your American so you buy American first. If you can't find it at home, then buy as close to home as possible. Point is that neither of us are buying from China!!!

James D.
James D6 years ago

Simply do an internet search for Made in USA and you will see we still make many things in this country. If we All strive to buy more American goods and forgo buying similar foreign goods it will begin to make a difference. Ask about Made in USA goods wherever you go and the stores will begin to pay attention.

Linda T.
Linda T6 years ago

Take the trade imbalance with China out of the politican's hands. Buy american!!! I have found that most unbranded items at the grocery store is still made in america. Value brand at Krogers is one. Several times my husband and I have found gardening tools such as water hose bought at China-Mart (Wal-Mart) american made is actually cheaper. You can find made in america you just have to take the time to read the labels. We don't need politicans to change our policies we have the power to change it for them. Buy American!!!

Danny W.
Danny Wilson6 years ago

Every little bit helps!

Bruce S.
Bruce S6 years ago

Because of BAD political choices over the years, we now manufacture virtually NOTHING. It has now come back to bite us in the a$$. Because of economics, we will NEVER be able to compete with China and have religated our children to be worse off than any previous generation. Even the old stand-by of starting a war doesn't work anymore, it just digs us deeper into debt.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

I can't afford to buy much of anything regardless of where it is made.

Mo Va
Mo Va6 years ago

YES PLEASE ! Every country can make any products for people. Made in USA motto will help USA improve self esteem ! USA can always export and import in a balance manner. TRADE WAR IS NO NEEDED.