Preferring home-grown products seem to be a part of our disposition as consumers, regardless of our own political leanings or the type of product we are considering purchasing. With material handling equipment and products and other purchases that are made business-to-business, the reasoning becomes more logical and less abstract.
For Americans, buying items manufactured in the USA strengthens our national economy and promotes our manufacturing sector. When these items are capital equipment, the effects can be multiplied. Buying American promotes a healthy U.S. economy by spurring U.S. job growth – and compounding that fact, local jobs translate into further local reinvestment.
Manufacturing makes up roughly 12% of the U.S. economy. Perhaps even more importantly, though, is that manufacturing creates middle-skill-level workers that are the backbone of the middle class – and, therefore, the backbone of the U.S. economy.
Understanding the Buy American Act
What’s more, the Buy American Act requires the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases, with other pieces of legislation extending similar requirements to third-party purchases that utilize Federal funds. In some circumstances the requirement may be waived if the domestic product is more expensive by a certain percentage than an identical foreign-sourced product, the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, or if purchasing domestically is not in the country’s best interest.
The Example of the Auto Industry
A recent article in the Huffington Post explains the importance of buying American-made goods from the perspective of the auto industry. “Let’s think about it in terms of car shopping,” the article begins. “When you’re shopping for a new car or certified used car, is it more important to buy from an American company or a company that manufacturers cars in the U.S. (even if that company is based overseas)? According to a recent AutoTrader.com poll, nearly 60 percent of people surveyed consider a new car to be American-made only if it’s built in the U.S. by a U.S.-based company.”
The article went on to assert that where an item is manufactured is more important than where the manufacturer is based. “Toyota has stated that its philosophy is to ‘build where we sell’ – and the automaker also maintains that being closer to the customer is important,” states the HuffPost piece. “At first, that sounds like a little bit of public relations rhetoric, but I seriously doubt that Toyota would be able to dominate the small-truck, hybrid and midsize-sedan categories the way they have been without investing some serious time and money into learning how average Americans live and work in the places where Toyota sells cars.”