Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Made in the USA? The Truth Behind the Labels

Author 28790
Message Craig Harrington put together a piece for describing the marketing gimmicks and loopholes which allow some companies to claim that their product is "Made in USA" when it really originated overseas. 

The most common case occurs when a company assembles certain parts in the U.S. from imported materials.  Such is the case with New Balance Athletic Shoes.  New Balance proudly claims that it has maintained manufacturing in the U.S., despite its competition – Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc. – all moving production overseas.  What they kindly ignore to tell us is the fact that the components of the shoes are largely imported from overseas before they are put together by American workers.        

Many American computers and vehicles are "designed" in the United States, but their components are actually assembled overseas.  In the case of Ford and General Motors, the auto giants maintain huge production operations in Canada and Mexico before shipping vehicles back into the U.S. for sale. 

Some things which you would think are purely produced in the U.S. give the impression in their name. Pennsylvania Dutchman claims to have "America's Favorite Mushroom," yet the fungi themselves are grown, harvested, and processed in China.          

The company American Lock fabricates its products in Mexico.  According to Laura Fleming of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Chicken of the Sea sends its wild-caught salmon to Thailand for processing before shipping it back to the U.S. The ConsumerReports piece even showed an American flag which was assembled from overseas materials. 

Perhaps the most alarming, and potentially hazardous, development which has come from "free trade" is the influx of contaminated foods into American grocers and households.  One of the reasons that this threat is so omnipresent is the fact that only some foods are required to display their country of origin.          

According to the 2002 Federal Farm Bill, all produce and meat sold in the United States must display its country of origin.  Unfortunately, after seven years, the bill still only applies to packaged goods.  Meats and produce sold in open bins or displays are not required to provide the same information.

Trying to label something as "Made in the USA" is perhaps the best marketing ploy in the world.  American consumers represent the world's largest market for goods, and their patriotism – especially given the recent "Buy American" upsurge – will drive them toward goods which keep their money close to home.  Unfortunately, many of the best and most popular products are still partly imported.  They therefore contribute to the imbalance of international trade just like any other goods.


Rate It | View Ratings

Craig Harrington Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Craig Harrington is pursuing a degree in History and Political Science at The Ohio State University. He is also a journalist for
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Globalization Destroying Our Nation

The Forgotten Debt

An Empire at Risk

The End of American Exceptionalism 

The American System is No Longer Sustainable


To View Comments or Join the Conversation: