For the last several years I have been trying to buy things not made in China. Now, I have nothing against the Chinese people, but I have several issues with the way their government runs as well as how their trade agreements are with the U.S.
I have found that this is almost an impossible task. I walked around the shoe department at Macy’s and looked at all the shoe’s and found that every one of the shoes I lifted was made in China (save for one shoe). I couldn’t believe it. Hence I haven’t bought shoes in a year. Sometimes I do have to fudge on the habit of not buying things made in China. Sometimes you just can’t help it.
I will sum up my reasons why I take issue with things made in China.
#1: While I am sure there are some bad people in America still running some sweat shops, China has no human right laws like we do. There are just a few people over there that are making the money. This year when President Obama and their President Hu Jintao held talks about trade agreements and human right issues….he pretty much said “We really don’t care what you have to say. It is our country and we will do with it how we see fit.” (*paraphrased in my own words) While I agree the U.S. can’t just go around and make everyone be like our country, I believe there is a certain way people need to be treated and paid. So for these issues I try to avoid buying stuff made over there.
**(TOMS shoes does some of their manufacturing in China. I think the TOMS shoe company has such a great message. At first I was annoyed….really guys you are making these shoes so that you can donate shoes to people who have no shoes and all the human rights violations China has….argh. But, after reading their website it explained that the company goes to every single place that manufactures their shoes and makes sure that they have living wages and their human rights are not being violated. OK…big sigh of relief. I have no problem with your shoes anymore.)
#2: The whole manipulation of their currency (yuan) that renders it being more expensive for us to ship products for them to buy and it cheaper for them to send us things to buy. How is our government not seeing this as a problem? If our products are super expensive..OF COURSE they won’t buy them. I know they are just trying to boost their economy and their country is just looking out for itself…I just want our country to see the problem with this and do something about it.
#3: China is known to take our products that we send over there to sell or for them to manufacture and completely rip them off. They completely ignore our intellectual property rights (meaning patents, copyrights, etc.) on these items, take them a part (and learn how they work) and then sell them as their own for cheaper. Even though there has been evidence of this we really do not have any control over there with this.
#4: Lastly, there is no quality control and no regulations with the products we get from China. Remember in the news several years ago about all the milk that was tainted with hormones. Remember all the toys that were made in China that were recalled because they had been painted with lead based paint. I also read an article recently (from Ashley) how some of the items that China ships us that have labels that say “organic” on them… are actually falsified because they are trying to jump on the organic bandwagon.
Now, I know that the U.S. in recent years has had huge problems with salmonella outbreaks on food, but at least if something happens we have some more accountability (even though I think the Chinese government killed some of those people who made the tainted milk). Stemming from this quality control issue is my surprise when looking at the labels of some expensive or exclusive brands of fashion or products (such as Coach, Kate Spade, and Pottery Barn) are all made in China. I could deal with this if when you go to Wal-Mart or Target or other stores that all their stuff wasn’t made in China too. If China is notorious for their bad quality control then how can you expect these expensive products to be made any better than things made for discount stores.
Now, I don’t think we can blame everything on China. We have a lot to do with China receiving so much of our business. Because companies want to turn a profit and make tons of money they ship their products overseas. Our government even gives them incentives to do this.
And that is the root of our problem. American companies no longer make anything here. Americans do not want to work for lower wages. Over the past ten years we have seen hundreds of factories close down on our shores and no one in the government seems to find this a problem. Ultimately, if the U.S. wants to get back on top of the game we need to start boosting our efforts to build in America again. We need to have more production, ingenuity and drive again. This will only happen if people start demanding from our government and our businesses that we want more Made in U.S.A. products again.
OK, off the soap box. I didn’t mean that to turn into a rant. I just really want people to stand up and notice that it is important for the U.S. to stay relevant for us to continue as a world power.
So, tonight I will leave you with two of my favorite Made in the U.S.A. products:
#1: USA Pans
I LOVE these pans. I have tried several different baking and roasting pans over the years, but these are great. The USA pans are extremely durable and more heavy-duty than others I have tried. They are a little difficult to find, but totally worth it.
I am OBSESSED with these purses, bags and accessories. My best friend Emily totally got me into these bags. She was the first one I knew that had one and now I have one and so does my Mom and Sister. They are durable, unique and oh so fun!!!
(*Side note: While products that are made in America tend to be more expensive, my hubby and I have decided that it is definitely worth it. We are helping to keep jobs in America and letting these merchants know it is important to keep the manufacturing here.*)
Now, if anyone knows of other products that are Made in the U.S.A. I would love to hear about it! Just drop me a comment!
Hope everyone has a great night!!