There are a dozen or more organizations, groups and events called "Made in America". Momentum is building and BOTH membership and participation are growing. Individuals and companies want to be a part of the growing movement. These organizations were already alive and growing before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States this year, but the virus has fueled the flames of the patriotism and self-sufficiency.
Offshoring of American manufacturing began in the 1980's and grew rapidly as American manufacturing companies looked to cheap, foreign labor to reduce costs. More and more iconic American brands closed their US factories and moved all manufacturing overseas. By 2010 there were no televisions, light bulbs, dress shirts or tableware made in the United States. Levis, Gerber Baby Food, Mattel and Radio Flyer, all iconic American brands, were all made somewhere else. Millions of manufacturing jobs were lost, but most consumers seemed content as prices stayed low. And the trend continued. By 2019 between 80 and 90 percent of the ingredients used in US drugs were made in China or India.
There was a small minority of Americans who protested, and a Made in America movement was born. Over the years, as manufacturing jobs disappeared, the movement grew. By 2012 there was even a Made in America Festival. The festival was really about music and founded and sponsored by Jay-Z and Budweiser. But Made in America was a lot more than just music. It was about American jobs, companies and products. There was a push to reopen American factories. Between 2010 and 2019 US manufacturing grew and over 1,500,000 jobs were added. Consumer Reports did an often-quoted survey in 2015 that found that more than 80% of Americans were willing to pay ten percent more for US manufactured products.
In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic came. There were shortages of many things, especially PPE and drugs, and the sentiment for American Made grew. It became evident that for many products it was essential and a matter of national security. The most obvious gap in American manufacturing was in pharmaceuticals. Ninety percent are imported. It has been estimated that to even get to even half of our drugs being made in America again it could take as long as a decade or more. Most likely it could take government mandates to ensure that it happens, and congress recognizes this need. A bipartisan group of representatives has introduced the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act. This legislation authorizes the creation of a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies. The Commission will make recommendations to ensure that critical supply chains can rely on domestic sources of production.
While government efforts may focus on the essential products, consumer sentiment will continue to drive the production of many other goods and services. There is a trend for increased consumer demand for products made in America. Some of it is caused by patriotism, some so there can be more American jobs and some because many believe American products are a higher quality. The largest of the many groups promoting Made in America is the “Made in America Movement”. They are a non-partisan organization celebrating American “manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, small business owners, mom and pop stores, local boutiques, and service providers.” Their mantra is “buy American and expand the use of American-made products”.
The Made In America Movement has a community and a website to educate and engage both the consumer and the manufacturer. They have over 20,000 corporate members and over half a million individual members. I’m certain that will grow dramatically in the near future. They have a blog that is full of content to educate the consumer on every topic about American manufacturing.
At Optimation our passion is American manufacturing and American manufacturing jobs. We design and build manufacturing equipment for many industries including food, pharmaceutical, chemical, glass and green energy products. We employ American engineers and tradesmen and we train apprentices to begin their career in one of the industrial trades. We believe in Made in America and are a part of the movement. It is time to bring back American factories, jobs and security.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you keep us Made in America!