Why do we buy products made overseas? - FOX 32 News Chicago

Why do we buy products made overseas?

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Buying only products labeled 'Made in America' sounds good, but talking about it and doing it are two different things. Many labels and packages on U.S. shelves show foreign countries. What's harder to find is a 'Made in the USA' tag.

So, what keeps us buying overseas? Price -- buying items labeled ‘Made in America' is something many of us simply can't afford.

"I think as we see our neighbors who are unemployed and underemployed, we care, and I think we're driven to find products that are made in America," said Roy Bowen, President of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers.

As an example, a pair of American-made Levi's 501 jeans ran for $148. A white T-shirt from American Apparel was $20, and a pair of American-made Red Wing work boots cost nearly $210 ($209.99). That's nearly $380!

Buying the products with an overseas label brought the price down. A pair of 501's made in Mexico and bought at Macy's cost $45 ($44.99). A four-pack of Hanes T-shirts cost nearly $11 ($10.96), and a pair of Sears work boots cost $75 ($74.99). Total for the package -- nearly $131!

"Something needs to be done about that.  Where are the authentic American lifestyle brands?" asked Sean Metcalf of Young & United.

Sean Metcalf and two friends decided to do something.  They came up with Young & United, an upstart American made T-shirt company. They tossed their idea up on a grass roots fundraising site. Donations came in, and they are now producing competitively priced made in America graphic tees.

"As consumers, we're becoming smarter -- the food that we eat, the cars that we drive, the materials that are in our products. And we're starting to think, how does made in America fit in that," said Metcalf.

Bowen says they're on to something.  Manufacturers are starting to move back to the U.S. for a lot of reasons, but mainly because overseas labor is starting to cost more.  

"This is a phenomenon. It's not a passing phenomenon. It's happening," said Bowen.

Do you buy American? You can join in the conversation on Dana Fowle's Facebook page by clicking here!

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