I hear a lot of talk about making America First and rebuilding our economy and manufacturing base. I also hear a lot of criticism of China’s unfair competitive advantages through low wages, theft of intellectual property and abuse of their workforce and environment.
There appears to be a pretty good consensus that we need to do something to restore our economic vitality.
Too often we seem to separate these sentiments from our actual purchasing behavior.
How hard do we work to explore American-made alternatives to Chinese products?
Do we let retailers know that we want American-made products?
Do we just look for the lowest price and ignore how China cheats?
Do we recognize the quality advantage of American-made products?
I recognize that, sadly, in many cases there simply are not American-made alternatives to Chinese products— that is how much our economy has deteriorated.
I also recognize that many times consumers just don’t have the money to buy anything other than the cheapest products on offer.
But, I would suggest there are still many opportunities for us to better understand where our purchases are being manufactured and to opt for goods made in the USA.
We can get upset with retailers, product reviewers and government officials, but this is one area where the consumer really is king.
If we shift our buying patterns toward Made in America products, retailers and reviewers will follow and our government leaders will not have to rely exclusively on tariffs.
We can turn this situation around if we work a little harder to be responsible consumers.
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