Buy American, By Americans
"Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn't always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you'd have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits and the occasional promotion. Maybe you'd even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.
That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I've seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories and the vacant storefronts of once busy main streets. I've heard it in the frustrations of Americans who've seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear—proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game."
If you watched this year's State of the Union address, the above words spoken by President Barack Obama are probably still echoing in your ears. Whether you are a republican or democrat matters very little when it comes to the success of the American people. We all want prosperity, job security, growth in manufacturing and a continued realization of the American dream, regardless of political leanings. The industrialization of China, India and other emerging nations combined with American companies outsourcing manufacturing has created serious competition for American workers. Add on top of this the recessionary woes of the last few years: the limited credit, the inventory shortfalls and serious product safety violations coming from overseas manufacturers, and one can see the "perfect storm" that was created for American factories.
The Advantage of American
"Having products that are made in America has emerged as an 'unfair advantage' for those suppliers who can legitimately make the claim," stated Mel Ellis, president of HumphreyLine, Milwaukie, Ore. That advantage is huge when it comes to having inventory close at hand when needed. Ellis detailed the inventory issues, "American manufacturers don't have to carry large amounts of inventory in their warehouses; when they get low on stock, all they have to do is turn on the machine and make the product." A typical overseas order from a typical U.S.-based mid-sized supplier needs lead time, that is a reality. Ellis noted an average turn-around time of 180 days for an overseas order. "By contrast, American manufacturers can expect, if they manage their operations well, to turn their inventory in about 60 to 75 days. When compared to the 180 day figure above, American manufacturers do have an unfair advantage compared to importers," he said.