Supply Chain News / Economic Development / Tradewinds

Report: Imports are More ‘Made in America’ Than Label Reveals

“Unbeknownst to consumers, imported goods with foreign labels often include significant but unrevealed amounts of U.S. content.”

Imported products sold in the United States from clothing to cars contain far more U.S. parts or other content and value and support significantly more American jobs than consumers or policymakers realize, according to a new report prepared for the National Retail Federation.

“This report looks at retailers’ worldwide sourcing of merchandise not just as a global supply chain but as a global value chain,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “It shows the value added at each step along the way, not just in manufacturing but from the initial concept to the finished product. Even in a product that says ‘Made in China,’ much of what goes into that product is ‘Made in America.’ That means millions of American jobs for American workers regardless of what the label might say.”

“Rethinking Made in America in the 21st Century” was prepared for NRF by Laura M. Baughman, a well-known Washington economist specializing in international trade and president of The Trade Partnership. The report was released as part of activities to mark Imports Work Week.

“In a world of global supply chains, does ‘Made in America’ really mean what people think?” Shay and Baughman ask in the introduction to the report. “Unbeknownst to consumers, imported goods with foreign labels often include significant but unrevealed amounts of U.S. content.”

According to the study, apparel products contain more than 70 percent U.S. value on average, some foreign-brand automobiles contain as much as 95 percent U.S. content while no U.S. car has more than 75 percent U.S. content, and the popular Apple iPod contains $162 in American content compared with $4 in Chinese content even though it is labeled “Made in China.”

Of $1.85 trillion in products imported in 2009, $464 billion of the value was American and 10 million U.S. jobs, or 11.2 percent of U.S. employment, were sustained by global supply chains in 2008, the report said. 

Product origin labels are misleading because federal law allows a product to be labeled “Made in America” or “Made in USA” only if American manufacturing workers made the product and “all or virtually all” of the value of significant parts and processing that go into the product were made or done in the United States, according to the report. The determination looks only at direct manufacturing costs such as materials, labor and overhead. Non-manufacturing costs such as research and development, product design, marketing and other services are not considered even if all of those activities took place in the United States and were performed by

U.S. workers.
The report calls on policymakers to adopt trade policies that recognize the importance of U.S. jobs tied to imported products. It recommends that both U.S. and foreign tariffs be eliminated and that non-tariff barriers such as regulations that treat imported products differently also be removed. Trade facilitation measures affecting issues ranging from customs processing to transportation infrastructure are needed, and trade agreements should “recognize 21st Century global value chains.” The report specifically calls for passage of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, which would “support U.S. participation in global value chains and ensure that trade agreements reflect the increasingly interrelated and multi-sector nature of trade and investment activity.”

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

KC SmartPort Momentum

Kansas City SmartPort Momentum 2013 focused on 3PLs, the issues facing the industry, and the role or logistics in economic development

Podcasts

 

Calculating a true landed cost for global sourcing directly correlates with the profitability of purchased goods. However, few companies can command real-time visibility in to all the costs involved for cross border movements. In this podcast, World Trade 100 and Amber Road highlight how a comprehensive global trade platform that converges both logistics and compliance costs can deliver true landed cost visibility.

 

Speaker: Hung Lee, Senior Product Manager, Amber Road

More Podcasts

World Trade 100 Magazine

world trade july 2014

2014 July

Check out the July 2014 edition of World Trade WT100, featuring Air Cargo, Near Shoring, plus much more!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Supply Chain Webinars

What types of supply chain webinars do you get the most use out of?
View Results Poll Archive

WT100 STORE

world-class-warehousing.gif
World-Class Warehousing and Material Handling, 1st Edition

Filled with proven operational solutions, it will guide managers as they develop a warehouse master plan, one designed to minimize the effects of supply chain inefficiencies as it improves logistics accuracy and inventory management - and reduces overall warehousing expense.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Use our interactive maps to locate service providers across North America.Interactive Map

Logistics Development Partners 

IWLA Members

STAY CONNECTED