Monday, February 21, 2011

I Want 'Made in the USA'!

Almost every product you can purchase is made in China. And quite frankly, I am sick of it. Here’s why.
I never thought too much about where and how products were manufactured until I had children. Suddenly I had a very critical eye on everything before buying it for my daughter. The more I tried to avoid purchasing things that were made in China, the more frustrated I became. It’s not just clothing and toys I’m referring to, it is literally everything from food to furniture to American flags. As a challenge, go to your local Walmart and see how many items you can find that were made in the USA…
The last straw for me was when I was looking around for a Gluten free food for my baby to eat. I found a packet of Baby Mum Mums and got super excited. Not only did they seem to be Gluten free, they were also organic. I started reading through the ingredients when something caught my eye- Made in China. I couldn’t quite believe it. I stopped feeding my dogs chicken treats made in China because their stomachs got upset. I was most certainly not going to buy food for my baby that was produced thousands of miles away!
The other day I was grocery shopping with my sister-in-law. She needed to buy garlic salt and I read over the ingredients to make sure it didn’t contain any Gluten. Again, my eye catches the little inscription Made in China. On McCormick garlic salt. Really???
To my friends in China: I have nothing against China as a country. I just don’t see why products that are consumed in the US cannot also be produced in the US. It is not only a matter of quality control issues, but also one of principle.
There are several aspects that I do not comprehend. The first being that the US is anti Communism, yet they are willing to let everything they use on a daily basis be produced by a country that claims to be communist. China couldn’t be further from being communist- it is a nasty dictatorship and has absolutely nothing to do with Communism, but that’s beside the point. On principle, America should not want to give them their business.
The second issue I have is that of human rights. China treats its citizens very poorly and should not be rewarded for this. US companies should not be allowed to participate in the exploitation of the Chinese worker, just to save money.
The third issue is that of the economy. We hear people all day long complaining about the state of the economy and the high unemployment rate. How can this be a mystery to anyone if every job is outsourced to other countries? If nothing we buy is made here, there will not be enough jobs. It’s a simple equation.
The fourth problem I see with this state of globalized outsourcing is one of power. Let’s just assume China got very upset with the US for whatever reason. If they stopped all exports, what would we do? Somehow we have allowed China to gain a very large portion of power over the US- that is extremely scary to me and definitely not worth it.
The fifth and last issue is one of quality control. I am not saying that China isn’t a place that is capable of producing trustworthy products. I just think that if I were a factory worker getting paid a minimal wage to work hours upon hours manufacturing things that nobody in my country is ever going to use, I wouldn’t care one bit about the quality of the product…
Maybe we can all start actively looking for products that have been made in the US. Let’s support the companies that are brave enough to keep the jobs in this country. E.g. check out this website that lists toy manufacturers who produce in the USA We as consumers have the power to make it worth it for companies to produce locally again. Let’s put an end to all the recalls and toxins in our kids’ environment. I want ‘Made in the USA’ to be the new norm!

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