How To Buy American
It’s very simple really. Just flip over the label and read where the product is made. What could be easier? The only problem is that more and more frequently, American-made products are just not available. I recently encountered that situation with a company that makes backpacks and outdoor gear.
Ten years ago I bought a nice black backpack ( from a company that I choose to leave unnamed ) with Anasazi designs printed on strips of cloth and attractively sewn into the item. It was competitively priced at just under forty dollars and I was not the least bit disappointed with my purchase. Three years later I lost my trustworthy tote bag and so I went to another store in another part of the country that sold outdoor gear.
I now discovered that the same piece of apparel cost five dollars less, was missing the decorative design strips and was now made in Mexico. This is not what I had expected, but I had no problem in sending some American moolah, south of the border. Call it the good neighbor policy. I figure that the better the economy is in Mexico, the lesser chance there is, that some modern-day Zapata will come storming into the capital on horseback with a million armed peasants backing him up. So I bought another backpack, but this time it was baby blue in color.It worked out fine for a while, but after a few years of heavy use, I needed a replacement.
Reluctantly, I returned to the same store, but this time I left empty-handed, although some of the offerings looked pretty good. Everything appeared to be made overseas by manufacturing giants. So, I went home and googled backpacks and “Made in the USA”, and came across a company in California that made rucksacks from recycled plastic bottles. The price was right so I took a chance and ordered one. About a week later a cardboard box arrived at my front door, and inside the carton was a bright red backpack. I couldn’t believe how soft the material was, considering the thing was made from recycled plastic. It has lasted several years and appears to be good for several more years of daily use. The company is called Earthpak; they are definitely worth checking out. And while you’re, online here are a few more Web sites that might be of interest.
And for information about complying with Made in the USA labeling requirements, go to this site maintained by the Federal Trade Comission.