Made in America

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

To the Editor:
In a recent Sound Off comment, a contributor mentioned a towel they were using as having a label “Made in China” and asked why they were not being made in the USA. There are multiple manufactures of towels in the USA, however, they will carry a higher price and it is us, the consumer, who makes the decision as whether we are willing to pay that higher price.
Products made in the USA are made by companies who pay their employees a fair salary with safe working conditions as governed by U.S. law. China has flooded the U.S. market place with less expensive products due to their lower labor costs and not having to meet the same regulations that U.S. manufactures are required.
To take this down to how it impacts one of the industries here in eastern North Carolina, look at the commercial seafood industry — a heavily regulated industry with quotas so as to maintain healthy stocks and not overfish. This increases costs to the consumer and, unfortunately, we are not often willing to pay that extra cost. We just enjoy getting a “bargain” without questioning how we are getting that “bargain.” As a result, 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported to not only meet demand but to meet the need for that “cheaper” product.
It is up to us, the end buyer, to make the decision to pay the extra few dollars for products to support the American workers and the U.S. economy. It is the consumer who drives the marketplace and how we spend our dollars and what we spend it on will determine what the stores will put on their shelves. If we want cheaper products from overseas, they will stock it. However, if we buy wisely and support American and locally made products, they will stock them. Take the time to look at the labels or to ask where your product is coming from. Then make the conscious decision to buy and consume U.S. products. In the end, it will be a win-win for us all.
Maree Richards-Benson