Buying American means better quality and more jobs, but that’s not all

Why Buy American?

Better QualityProducts made here are built to stricter standards and use higher quality parts. According to madeinamerica.com, 60 percent of Chinese consumers prefer American-made products.

JobsThe most common reason given is to save or create jobs in America. In the last decade, nearly 6 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. According to the Economic Policy Institute, for every 100 manufacturing jobs lost, there are 744.1 indirect jobs lost.

Less pollutionMost developing countries have few or no environmental regulations. Many overseas factories that manufacture products for export to the US produced enormous amounts of hazardous materials that contaminate the air, water, and soil.

Human Rights Often, the countries that produce goods for US companies do not have laws to protect the rights of workers. A report commissioned by the “Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights” in 2015, found Chinese workers who make toys for Hasbro, Mattel, and Disney, working 12-13 hour shifts and sleep on plywood bunks in crowded, filthy, and freezing dormitories. A 2006 report revealed that children were working in factories in Bangladesh that made clothing for Walmart and JC Penny.

Health and Safety of the American ConsumerDozens of toys were recalled in 2007 that were made in China. Some of the toys posed a choking hazard, others contained dangerous chemicals, including lead paint, and kerosene, according to the “New York Times.”

In 2008, there was a worldwide recall of the blood thinner, heparin. Scientists found the drug was contaminated with a toxic chemical, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate. This contamination was traced to a chemical plant in China and was responsible for numerous deaths and adverse reactions. As a matter of fact, if you look at products recalled for safety issues, you will find nearly all of them come from China.

Stronger EconomyPurchasing American-made products not only helps the workers who make the products but the entire economy receives a boost. When American manufacturing thrives, many other jobs are created. While it is true some products will have a modest price increase, the fact remains that many more American workers will have more disposable income.

National Security A few years ago, the US military bought 59,000 Integrated Circuits from Korea. They turned out to be Chinese counterfeits with Chinese “back-door” programming that could have facilitated sabotage. We are dependent on China, for everything from medicine to military supplies. We are more reliant on China than we are on foreign oil.

You can find a lot of American-made products and learn more about the Made in America Movement here.

Buy Local – This Pandemic has also shown the folly of on-demand-supply-chain management. Especially when the raw materials, components, and products are coming from places as far away as China and India. It also demonstrates the vulnerabilities of having a few major companies produce nearly everything we consume.

Oklahoma distilleries are making hand sanitizer. An Oklahoma company, Filti, is producing near-N95 quality filter material, made from nanofibers, to make masks, and is selling it to the public on its website, filti.com. There are many more Oklahoma companies meeting the challenge of this pandemic. Reasor’s sells many products “Made in Oklahoma” and identifies them with an “MIO” label. Learn more about Made In Oklahoma products here.

As many food products such as meat and vegetables are in danger of becoming scarce, people are now beginning to buy directly from the producers. Programs such as the Farmer’s Market, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, have allowed local citizens to purchase produce directly from growers.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Brian Johnson, a Mounds resident, has started

a Facebook page, “Creek County Farm to Family,” dedicated to connecting farmers directly with people looking for meat, vegetables, and other foodstuffs that are grown or produced locally. He is also helping people find local butchers and meat processors. Johnson encourages farmers, “backyard” farmers, and even anyone who is growing a “pot” of tomatoes, as well as people looking to buy these products, to join the page. He said he would like to see this concept spread to every county in the country.

In this time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to support local businesses, who are, and have always been, the backbone of our community. Remember, the money spent here stays here and helps support many local organizations and public services.

https://agents.farmers.com/ok/sapulpa/steve-grogan
Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler is a contributing writer for Sapulpa Times.