Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Would you pay more for an item to be made in North America?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (23107points) November 27th, 2023
37 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

Or would you save what you can , and not care where the item was made?
Example; would you pay say 10% more to have it made in North America, or would you not care and pay the lower cost?

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elbanditoroso's avatar

Depends on the item. There isn’t an across the board answer.

Electronics – Vietnam, or China or Japan are OK

Furniture: US

Clothing: Prefer US when possible

Food/Beef: US because of cleanliness and inspection

Drugs: A lot of them are manufactured in India but with US inspection, so OK

American Flags: US Only

SQUEEKY2's avatar

So it depends on the item not the fact it could put your countries people to work?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I prefer US items across the board which is why we have not shopped at Walmart for almost two decades.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 there are plenty of jobs still open for people who want to work. The problem is not a lack of jobs, it is a lack of people who think that working is ‘beneath’ them.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Honest question, because I really don’t know. Are there still clothes made in the US?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@HJ Yes. Levis, Old Navy, Kate Spade, All American Clothing Co, Pendleton, and lots more.
I buy locally made when possible, more so than those brands I listed.

jca2's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I saw a documentary about the Garment District in NYC. They said that in the 1950 and 60’s, 95% of the clothing sold in the US was made in the US, 5% made elsewhere. Now it’s the opposite, 95% of the clothing here is made elsewhere, only 5% is made in the US.

Sometimes my daughter and her friends shop at thrift shops for fun, and they might find something made in the US which will be a real rarity and a nice find.

I gave this a GQ. I believe strongly in the US and in union labor, but on the other hand, I am trying to survive like anybody else. I am probably going to respond more after thinking about it some more.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

If I can get American, I will as long as the quality is there. I’m even willing to pay a little more.

jca2's avatar

@KNOWITALL The brands you listed largely manufacture clothing outside the US, for example Levis and Pendleton. Many Pendleton products are not manufactured in the US.

Here’s an example of Pendleton manufacturing the fabric and it being sewn outside of the US:

Almost all Levi’s jeans are made overseas:

As of 2016, most Levis’ jeans are made outside of the US:

Kate Spade bags, leather sourced from the US, Europe and Asia, and manufactured in Asia:

I couldn’t find any more details on where Kate Spade clothing is manufactured, on the Kate Spade site and on Wikipedia, and looking briefly at other sites, (and I love to provide links as proof of what I say) but I went to Amazon and chose a few Kate Spade items of clothing. One said “made in US or imported” and this one says “imported” which tells me that Kate Spade clothing is not guaranteed to be made in the US:

LadyMarissa's avatar

In 2002,Levis closed its Valencia Street plant in San Francisco, which had opened the same year of the city’s April 1906 earthquake. By the end of 2003, the closure of Levi’s last U.S. factory in San Antonio ended 150 years of jeans made in the United States. Production of a few higher-end, more expensive styles of jeans resumed in the U.S. several years later.
As of 2019, the vast majority of Levi’s are made overseas in a number of developing countries, such as Bangladesh, China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Some styles in the “Levi’s Premium” and “Levi’s Vintage Clothing” lines are, however, made in the United States.

jca2's avatar

PS: I’m aware that there is Kate Spade New York and Kate Spade & Company (both Wikipedia articles didn’t say where their clothing is made).

My suspicion is always when a company website doesn’t brag that their clothing is made in the US, it’s probably not made in the US.

jca2's avatar

@KNOWITALL Old Navy clothing seems to be manufactured everywhere but in the US:

jca2's avatar

More about Old Navy:

Usually when clothes are so cheap (like at Old Navy), they are not made in the US.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’ve noticed that many US companies now show their verbiage as Assembled in the US That leads me to believe that it is made elsewhere & sent here to be assembled so it will have enough US work to fool those not looking close.

ragingloli's avatar

I would not.

canidmajor's avatar

The question is based on privilege. I can afford the extra, so I pay it. Many can’t.

smudges's avatar

I agree with @Blackwater_Park.

If it’s made in another country, I’d prefer it be from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and other extremely poor countries, but it pisses me off at how little they pay the people who actually do the work. It must be the middle man or the name brand who get the bulk of the money.

EX: I sometimes buy handmade beads made in Africa by women sitting in the dirt outside their huts, making one bead at a time have seen videos. They get pennies; I’m charged a minimum of $4.00 per bead, sometimes up to $10. I wish that at least $3.00 of that would go to them. Think of how it would change their lives…$3.00×1000s of beads sold around the world.

janbb's avatar

One could probably do more good by donating to organizations like Kiva and the Heifer that lift up the Global South poor than by worrying about where items are made. Just my 2 cents.

smudges's avatar

^^ Think of the good one could do if they donated plus bought American. We’d be helping our own people, too.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I think it’s worth pointing out that right now the US has the lowest unemployment rate since we started keeping records. I can’t speak for the other countries in North America, Canada and Mexico.

janbb's avatar

@smudges True. I just don’t really get what “bought American” means any more with all the globalization that goes on as others have pointed out above.

jca2's avatar

Clothing, I would love if it was made better, of better quality materials, and made in the US. Then yes, I would gladly pay more for it. I’m thinking of the clothes that were around when I was little, that my grandmother had in the house from when my mom and her sisters were little, clothes that lasted decades because they were made of pure cotton, wool and other natural materials.

I would love if there was less plastic crap around, like the dollar store crap, stupid plastic crap that is going to end up in landfills one day. I would love to pay more for less things, meaning to have less crap around, but stuff that’s made better.

I think a lot of people are into shopping, and much of what is available for us is pure crap, but it’s also throwaway. It’s made like crap, you wash it and wear it for a few years if you’re lucky to have it last that long and then it goes to a charity or thrift shop or goes in the garbage. Furniture, too, it might look good but a lot of what’s available is press board and people are after the latest trends and replacing stuff every five to ten years. If we could buy better stuff and have it last longer, it would be better for the environment.

In the US, wages are higher than they are overseas but it’s not the fault of the American worker, it’s the fault of the CEOs and upper management who want to keep their multi-million dollar salaries and stock options, so by manufacturing overseas it means less money on labor, more money in their pockets.

Kropotkin's avatar

I’d pay less.

Zaku's avatar

As @elbanditoroso immediately answered, it depends.

In general, I prefer local production because it implies:

* local fresh (& superior) produce (I shop at the grower’s market every week)
* less waste on transportation (ecological reasons)
* less corporate involvement (moral & ecological reasons)
* helping local economy
* not helping Chinese government & companies, labor exploitation (moral reasons)

However there are exceptions, more to do with quality, design, and type of product. e.g.

* I tend to prefer German and Japanese vehicles, and to usually tend not to prefer US-made cars.
* Some food items.
* Anything unique that has unique qualities, design or style.

JLeslie's avatar

“It depends” is my answer too.

For cheap dishes I prefer to avoid made in China.

For clothing it’s not cut and dry, but for most clothing I would be willing to pay a little more for made in USA, but not much clothing is made here.

A lot of men’s tailored clothing is made in Mexico.

When I was manager of Armani Exchange Armani preferred to have his jeans made in the US, silk garments in China, and a lot of his white and black label was made in Italy, because he tried to have the items made where they had the most experience and were made best.

When I live in the metro Memphis area there were cotton fields all around and trying to buy a cotton garment in the US was near impossible. So much rayon on the racks and I hate it. We export a lot of our cotton, which brings me to another point, where materials are from is important too, not just where a garment is put together. That goes for more than just clothing.

As far as food I try to buy American and local, and I do spend a little more sometimes. I also focus on what is in season.

smudges's avatar

Furniture, too, it might look good but a lot of what’s available is press board and people are after the latest trends and replacing stuff every five to ten years. If we could buy better stuff and have it last longer, it would be better for the environment.

Yes! I’m 67 and I have furniture that my grandparents bought when they were young couples. I also have a few items that my father made by hand either on a lathe or by coming up with his own design.

snowberry's avatar

@elbanditoroso@SQUEEKY2 there are plenty of jobs still open for people who want to work. The problem is not a lack of jobs, it is a lack of people who think that working is ‘beneath’ them.”

Lots of people don’t take available jobs because they can’t afford to work for how much is being offered in payment and other jobs go unfilled because of requirements such as vaccines, and folks don’t want to have to put up with that.

Caravanfan's avatar

From Mexico? Sure.

JLeslie's avatar

Lol. My husband (who was made in Mexico) constantly wants to buy an old Volkswagen beetle, because for Mexicans that was the car made in Mexico. I read somewhere a few years ago that VW was finally closing that plant? Not sure if that is correct and where the car is made now if it is correct.

@Zaku I usually favor Japanese cars for my every day driver, but just pointing out that some Japanese and German cars are assembled in North America or some of the parts are made in NA.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@JLeslie Honestly, at this point you can’t call American brand cars “American made” anymore. Some Toyotas have more American made parts and assembled with more American labor.

jca2's avatar

@smudges I have these thoughts that if I had an empty house, I would love to furnish it primarily with stuff from Habitat Restore and other thrift shops, where the stuff is old but made from solid wood. I have a few pieces in my house that are old and solid wood. I bought them over the years, from Amish or I inherited them from family. I have a few end tables and a “potato bin” which I bought recently at Restore, stuff that’s from the 70s but I like to say will be around long after I’m gone – Drexel Heritage.

Forever_Free's avatar

I actually prefer products manufactured in Antarctica. Their produce is amazing.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Forever_Free In Antarctica they have the largest selection of chocolates bars. From all around the world.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I would. About a decade ago I read an analysis of how much of the money spent on a product goes into the economy through wages and taxes and it was larger than you’d think. 20%? I can’t recall now. The extra money spent helped employ your neighbors, who buy houses, pay school taxes, and pay property taxes, etc.
It was even better to buy McD at your local store since it likely employs local kids in your neighborhood and they contribute to the local economy. ~0.5%? Something like that.

SnipSnip's avatar

Perhaps. It depends on where the other option was manufactured.

Forever_Free's avatar

I will double down on what @LuckyGuy stated.

Always support local. Local farmers, local stores, local, local, local.
This means that your money is staying within the community, rather than being sent off to a corporate headquarters. Local businesses often employ your neighbors, contribute to local taxes, and reinvest in their own operations – creating a cycle that benefits everyone.

kritiper's avatar

No. As an American consumer, I reserve the right to buy the best product at the best price regardless of where it was made.

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