Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Group promoting 'Buy American Month' this holiday season

The next six weeks will see consumers pouring into malls, outlet stores and big-box retailers in search of bargains and gifts, and much of what they buy will be imported.

But a Seattle-based non-profit is hoping to bring more attention to American products and businesses this holiday season. TAP America is promoting "Buy American Month," a campaign to boycott products made overseas (and specifically those made in China), which the group says is the only way to revive our sickly economy.

Though it may be a worthy goal, buying American can be more expensive - and, as this LA Times story points out, practically impossible for some items. Some of the hottest gift items this holiday season, like Apple's products, are designed in America but assembled by workers in low-cost Asian countries.

TAP America acknowledges the difficulty of buying American-made products.

"Asking Americans to buy American is not an easy task,” said Richard Tso, the group's executive director, in a statement. “Today most all electronic, clothing and textile goods are manufactured in China and popular American companies like Apple, REI, Walmart, and GAP are sending manufacturing jobs overseas."

To get around that, the group suggests people buy experience-oriented gifts, such as massages and restaurant gift cards. Such services are impossible to offshore, and more likely to pump money into the local economy, TAP America says.

What do you think? Are you willing to spend more money on American-made goods, and is that something you're considering during your holiday gift shopping?

Also noted: A new Dell retail store is now open in Northlake Mall. Dell@Northlake is on the mall's first floor, near the children's play area. The store beefs up Northlake's options for computers and electronics, adding to the recently opened Apple store.


Anonymous said...

My Father in law has insisted on accepting only American made christmas presents this year. He and I are already in a competition to buy American. And he is winning. It is a learning experience and it is scary that a lot of the food we buy isn't grown or raised in America. We have to become self sufficient again or our economy is going to continue to get worse. Paying more for things is better than having no jobs at all.

Anonymous said...

"Buy American" is certainly a noble goal, but what does that really mean? Clothing may have been dyed and sewn in China or Honduras, but the cotton may be grown in Texas and the yarn may have been spun in NC. That Toyota you buy may have been designed in Japan with parts made in China but was assembled here in the US.

Even the article's suggestion to buy a restaurant gift card can be misleading. Is all of the restaurant's food locally sourced? I bet at least some of the out-of-season produce was imported from Latin America. There's a good chance the seafood is imported as well. Is everyone on the restaurant's staff documented? How about all the employees that work in the meat processing plants where the chicken, pork, and beef came from?

I'm not saying that we should all abandon the effort and give up. I'm just saying the process is more complicated than looking for a "Made in USA" sticker somewhere. Educate yourselves on where your purchases are coming from and do the best you can to support American industries, even if only part of the product was actually made/designed here.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul for President! He'll fix the economy by isolating America back into self sufficency!

Pa Bloome said...

Buying American is not about being perfect, but about doing the best we can. We can be sure that if we give gifts of services, take the kids to a ball game, give Dad and Mom dance lessons, a gift certificate to the beauty parlor or barber shop, that such gifts will help our economy.

I gave my grandkids a day in an amusement park. At the end of the day, my grandson said, " Pa, that was the best day of my life". Gifts of experience are like that, they keep on giving.

Anonymous said...

Google Made in Usa or Buy American and you would be amazed at the websites and businesses.many are offering free shipping through the Holidays.It can be done it just takes a little effort to keep your dollars at home.