American Made: Is It Always Better?

U.S. madeManufacturers and companies have really been pushing the “Made in the U.S.A.” tag lately. Even big box stores like Walmart have been trumpeting support of American made goods (although “Assembled in the U.S.A.” has a suspicious ring to it). Just within the past few years, we’ve started to see U.S. manufacturers put Old Glory on the front of packaging. The demand for American made products is booming, but why is it?

Consumers are finally starting to turn away from cheap, throw away products, and embrace the old tradition of goods made to last. You might have heard old timers say, “They just don’t make them like they used to.” For the past 30 or so years that’s been the case, but a recent push from U.S. manufacturing is changing that.

Are American made goods always better?

The traditional view of goods made overseas in say, China, is that they are made from cheap materials, frothing with chemicals, by infants locked in factories, and those products will disintegrate after maybe 6 uses. While the laws and regulations are significantly less strict in China than they are in the U.S., that doesn’t mean that every product made in China is a lemon filled with poison and the sweat of child laborers.

There are manufacturers who are setting their own standards that exceed those of the country where their factory is located. Companies outsource production to lower their costs and make a more affordable product. Living wages overseas are lower than living wages in the U.S. Just because a product is made in Taiwan, China, or wherever, doesn’t, by default, mean that it’s being produced in a shady fashion.

Water bottle company Klean Kanteen has started stamping “Responsibly made in China” to let the consumer know that even though their product is being manufactured overseas, they are ensuring safe, fair, and ethical working conditions.

While goods made overseas aren’t necessarily made in a shady fashion, it’s always a concern. Goods made in the U.S. are a little easier to get behind, and not just for blind patriotism.

  • More demand for U.S. made goods means more jobs for Americans. The U.S. unemployment rate is finally starting to dip down to a reasonable level, and it’s partly in thanks to U.S. manufacturing.
  • The U.S. has stricter regulations on labor and pollution than many overseas manufacturers. If ethics and sustainability are important to you, buying U.S. made goods can help you stick to your principles.
  • You’re supporting your own economy rather than increasing demand for imports.
  • The standard of quality is typically higher in U.S. made goods than other goods made overseas.

While buying American made goods is typically better than buying goods made overseas, that’s not always the case. You can take two knives made by the same company, only one is made in China and one is made in the U.S., and upon first inspection not find a single difference other than the price tag. The only thing is, you know that the person who made the knife in the U.S. was paid a fair wage in a safe working environment. You don’t know for certain about the person who made the knife in the Chinese factory.

Here at Uncle Sam’s, we’ve been carrying American made goods since before it was cool. We’ve got a great selection of camping products made in the U.S.A., from socks to tarps and everything in between! Stop by and see for yourself

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