Wall Mart Promises to Buy More American—Trust but Verify
Retail giant Wall Mart recently announced that it was going to purchase $250 Billion in goods from US manufacturers by 2023. While this is good news, we need to dig deeper into Wall Mart’s other claims to see exactly how and if it will help the 42 million Americans living in poverty and the 50 million Americans collecting food stamps, to find a good paying full time job with benefits.
Wall Mart claims that their new initiative will create 1 million American jobs “over time.” This claim cannot be quantified until 2023. There other claim that two-thirds of all goods in Wall Mart stores are already made, sourced, assembled or grown in the USA is another powerful claim that sounds great.
But common sense tells us that when we shop at Wall Mart, or any other American retail store, most of the clothing, electronics and goods in our stores are not made here in the USA. Wall Mart is able to make their claim because most of the food and grocery items in their stores are still made in the USA.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) wanted to know --- “Where are the rest of the goods on its shelves coming from?”
It is very popular to claim that you company is buying American or taking steps towards buying American. Eight in 10 Americans told Consumer Reports in March that they would rather buy American made products and that 60% said that they would be willing to pay more for U.S. made goods.
But we all know how hard it is to determine if a product is made in the USA, and if companies are telling the truth when they make that claims. Almost every product you see for sale in American stores has some parts made overseas. Apple touts the fact that there IPhones are “designed by Apple in California” but the phones are assembled in China.
Some companies maintain their corporate presence here in the USA, but build and manufacture their products overseas. Many of my competitors in the elevator manufacturing business play this game of deception, and I was offered to move my elevator manufacturing to Mexico. So the made in the USA label on a product may mean nothing; and may be made in China.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has standards for a company to use the “Made in the USA” label. The FTC requires that all or nearly all components must be of U.S. origin, and that final assembly must be done in the U.S.A.
A new bill in the U.S. Senate, the Reinforcing American-Made Products Act of 2015 (SB 1518), is seeking to make sure that American corporation don’t deceive the American consumer with false claims of Made in the USA and to clarify the labeling standards and the FTC’s standards.
Some big name retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Land’s End have been sued and accused of making false made in the USA claims. President Ronald Reagan used to say about the Soviet Union during the end of the Cold War, “Trust but Verify.” The same is true for the Made in America claims by many companies.
On the other side of the false Made in America claims are regular everyday Americans and small businesses who provide detailed information on where there products come from and are manufactured. We hope to provide you those Americans doing the right thing for our country and those Americans who just want to make a buck no matter how.
Made in the USA should be a lifestyle and a cause for those of us who want to return jobs to our country. I concur with Dave Schiff, a founder of the Made Movement ad agency who said, “Made in America will succeed because people want to live in a better economic climate.”
What this movement needs most of all is a universal website and location, where Americans can go to so that they can reinvest in our country and Buy American.