Entries in Made in America (15)


Spending $64 on US Gifts This Holiday Creates 200K Jobs

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the 1960s, nine out of 10 holiday gifts that Americans bought were made in the U.S.  But these days, more than half of what Americans purchase for the holidays is made overseas.

In fact, according to the U.S. census, Americans spent $2.5 billion on Christmas toys made in China last year.

So with U.S. shoppers expected to spend more than $700 individually this holiday season -- and the average shopper having already forked over about $423 just last weekend -- what can be done to help offset this trend and keep more money flowing domestically?

All it takes is $64.  Economists say that if each American spends at least that amount on U.S. items this holiday season, they’d create 200,000 jobs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lenovo to Start Making Computers and Tablets in the US

Lenovo(MORRISVILLE, N.C.) -- While many PC companies have their headquarters in the U.S. -- HP, Apple and Dell, for example -- they build the computers overseas, primarily in China. Lenovo is going the other way, creating a PC production line in the U.S.

After two decides of making computers and other gadgets overseas, Lenovo will start making hardware in early 2013 in Whitsett, N.C., near the company's U.S. headquarters.

"I am very excited about this for two reasons," David Schmoock, president of Lenovo North America, told ABC News. "The first is that this is the right time to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. The second is that we will be able to provide something different than what our competitors do."

Lenovo will make some of its newest products at the new assembly line, including the ThinkCentre M92p desktop and the ThinkPad Tablet 2 with Windows 8. While many of the core components -- RAM, hard drives, displays, etc. -- in the laptop will be made overseas, Schmoock said the company is hoping to source more components locally over time.

"We believe local manufacturing is a strategic advantage and we want to do as much local sourcing as we can too," he said in an interview.

The manufacturing line is in the process of being built and is scheduled to open its doors in January 2013. The company will begin hiring for the 115 manufacturing jobs later this year, but Schmoock says that is just the start for the jobs this could create.

"I am bullish on this and I expect that it will grow over time. This is just the first phase."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Flubs His ‘Three Proud Words’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) — After bashing Mitt Romney’s “bad math” tax plan, President Obama also had some trouble adding things up.

It’s a standard part of the president’s stump speech to tout his plan to create jobs by rewarding companies that make goods “stamped with three proud words: Made in America.”

Rallying supporters in Kissimmee, Fla., Saturday, however, the president said, “We can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years, because we’re selling goods around the world stamped with three proud words: Made in the USA.”

For those counting, that’s more than just three words.

The president repeated the flub again Sunday in Melbourne, Fla., once again rallying supporters to back his plan to “change our tax code so we stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.”

“Let’s reward them for investing in new plants and equipment here in the U.S., and training new workers here in the U.S. … creating jobs right here in the U.S., making products that we sell around the world stamped with three proud words: Made in the USA. That’s what we’re fighting for. That’s the future we want,” he said as the crowd chanted three proud letters, “U-S-A!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NASA's 'Made in America' Rover Reaches Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech(NEW YORK) -- The safe landing on Mars Monday by Curiosity, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, was a huge accomplishment for the space program but also for the U.S. companies that contributed to the mission.

Indeed, the entire $2.5 billion mission was “made in America.”

The high-tech parachutes, retro-rockets and even the never-before-used “sky crane” that helped Curiosity come to a stop on Mars -- after an eight-month, 352-million-mile journey -- were all made in the United States.

“It’s only in America, these United States, that we could have pulled this off,” said Adam Steltzner, team leader for the entry, descent and landing of Curiosity.  “There is something uniquely American about what it takes to put a rover like this on Mars.”

U.S. companies in 33 states, from coast to coast, were involved.  They include:

-- Pioneer Aerospace of Windsor, Conn., which made the parachute;
-- Litespeed Bicycles employees in Chattanooga, Tenn., who put down their two-wheelers to help build the rover’s arms;
-- Honey Bee Robotics in New York City, which built the robotic tools that will now help the rover collect rocks and soil.

Even the cameras were from San Diego.

“This really is a human endeavor; it’s not just the U.S.,” said Ann Devereaux, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.  “But God bless America because we did put something on Mars.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Made in America: USOC, Sens. Announce Deal for Olympic Uniforms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States Olympic Committee and a group of Democratic U.S. Senators today announced a deal that requires U.S. Olympians’ opening and closing ceremony uniforms to be “Made in America” starting in 2014.

The announcement, made from the office of Sen. Menendez, D-NJ, today, comes after Menendez and 11 other Democratic Senators introduced legislation in the Senate last week that would require the U.S. Olympic Committee to outfit the U.S. Olympic team in clothes made in America for all future Olympic games.

On Wednesday, Sen. Menendez met with USOC Chairman Larry Probst and USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun in Washington. As a result of those discussions, the USOC drafted and adopted a new Team USA uniform policy which mirrors the “Team USA Made in America Act,” legislation filed by the Senators in Congress.

“I’m incredibly pleased that the USOC has formally adopted the requirements outlined in the Team USA Made in America Act,” said Menendez.  “This new policy – which will not be altered without informing the Congress - is a clear win for both America’s athletes and America’s workers. “  

“We were pleased to work with Sen. Menendez and his colleagues in Congress to address their concerns regarding Team USA’s parade uniforms,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “After listening to feedback from members of Congress, we have committed, along with our partners at Ralph Lauren, to make future parade uniforms in the United States.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Made In America’ Policies Hugely Popular, Survey Shows

Dynamic Graphics/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- While President Obama and Mitt Romney bicker over whose policies will send more jobs overseas, there is one side of the job creation coin that both candidates agree on: that the government should do its best to keep manufacturing jobs in America.

Unlike many of the job proposals both candidates are pushing, “Buy America” policies that encourage the government to buy products that are made in the U.S. whenever possible are hugely popular across party lines, according to a national survey commissioned by the Alliance for American Manufacturing and the United Steelworkers.

“On the federal level if we can expose where we can see tax dollars leaking overseas we can reverse it because there is the political will to do that,” said Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Overwhelming majorities of people from all political parties said they supported “Buy America” policies that  would mandate that taxpayer money can only be used on goods that were made in America.

Nearly nine out of 10 Republicans and Independents and 91 percent of Democrats said they support “Buy America” preferences according to the survey, which was conducted by the Democratic-leaning Mellman Group.

Close to a quarter of the survey respondents said they had heard something about “Buy America” policies from ABC’s Diane Sawyer as part of her “Made in America” series.

About half of the respondents said they have heard Romney talk about made in America policies and 66 percent said they’ve heard Obama push for U.S. made goods.

Paul said the president has done a “better than average” job supporting Buy America policies. All of his campaign swag is made in the U.S.A., as is Romney’s. But four of the former GOP presidential contenders -- Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Herman Cain -- got their campaign t-shirts overseas.

After ABC pointed out the outsourced t-shirts, Gingrich declared it was a fluke and that his campaign tries to buy only items made in America. Cain claimed ignorance, Santorum lamented how hard it was to find a t-shirt that’s made in America these days and Paul was unapologetic.

Congress, on the other hand, has shown an aptitude to take action on Buy America policies. While the divided legislature can hardly agree on anything, both chambers and both parties united to condemn the Olympic Committee for deciding on official USA Team uniforms that were made in China.

“After ABC News broke the story it took 48 hours for the Olympic Committee and Ralph Lauren to announce that they were only making uniforms in the U.S. period,” Scott Paul said.

“I think that you’ll see even more of these types of shaming because they produce results,” Paul said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Sells Made in America Mugs to Create Jobs

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks' line of American-made merchandise went on sale in stores across the country Tuesday. The Indivisible collection, which will be sold from June 12 to July 9, features made-in-America coffee, mugs and tumblers.

Starbucks will donate a portion of each sale to its Create Jobs for USA Fund. The fund awards grants “to help create and sustain jobs in underserved communities throughout America.”

According to the company, the fund has already raised more than $11.5 million, which Starbucks used to get loans for about $80 million in financing. Starbucks estimates the fund has helped create or retain 4,000 jobs so far.

“In these troubling economic times, we believe that we can all do our part to help make a positive impact on the jobs crisis facing our country,” Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz, said in a statement.

The ceramic mug retails for $9.95 and the tumbler is priced at $11.95. Starbucks will donate $2 from each purchase to the Create Jobs for USA Fund. Starbucks is also offering a pound of American coffee for $14.95, with $5 going to the fund.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Made in America, Please? China Shells Out for US Exports

Dynamic Graphics/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In China, there is a hunger for all things American -- and U.S. businesses, small and large, are taking note.

According to the U.S.-China Business Council, the Chinese spent $104 billion in U.S. exports in the last year -- up 542 percent from 10 years ago.

In China recently, Oscar Atkinson, a CEO at Silicone Arts Labs in Memphis, Tenn., visited with potential partners in Beijing and then went to a medical trade fair in Shenzhen, shopping around his company's new skin concealer product called Dermaflage.

"The Chinese consumer is just as image-conscious as the American consumer," he said. "We could have great success if we could find the right partner [and] overcome the regulatory hurdles, which are not significant. I'm looking forward to it."

Even U.S. giants like Pringles and Coca-Cola have figured out there's money to be made across the Pacific.

In Jackson, Tenn., a Pringles chip plant changes the flavors of its chips to soft-shell crab, grilled shrimp and seaweed before shipping to the Chinese middle class. Currently, one of every three Pringles cans goes overseas.

Skippy peanut butter, which is made in Little Rock, Ark., now ships to 70 countries. And Coca-Cola has created a beverage -- which tastes like a sweet version of orange juice -- to cater to the Chinese. The oranges come from the groves of Florida but are sold 11,000 miles away in Shanghai in a drink named Pulpy.

It's not just food. Mack's, the world's largest manufacturer of moldable, silicone earplugs, now provides labels for the Chinese market.

And most of the makeup in China bears U.S. labels -- which is why Atkinson was there, traveling from city to city making his sales pitch for Dermaflage.

He said the Shenzhen trade show was packed with people and international companies.

"It's really something to behold," he told ABC News.

But other U.S. entrepreneurs like Lion Brand Yarn in New Jersey have found another way to reach the masses in China -- through Export Now, an business that helps small- and medium-size U.S. businesses sell to Chinese consumers.

"Much like customers in other parts of the world, Chinese customers are often skeptical about the quality of Chinese-made products," Export Now said. "U.S. products...are getting more and more welcome in the local market."

The company, which sells everything from flip-flops to T-shirts and skateboards, said that 370 million Chinese had logged in to shop for U.S products on its website so far and that last year the site had sold $60 billion in U.S products.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Builders Take Up US-Made Homes Pledge

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The American-made home that Anders Lewendal set out to construct in October 2011 is complete -- and has started quite a movement across the U.S.

"We're amazed.  We've had calls and emails and hundreds and hundreds of builders and homeowners, company owners, politicians," he told ABC News.  "We're glad the movement's had some momentum behind it."

In Bozeman, Mont., Lewendal, an economist-turned-builder, constructed a house made entirely from U.S.-made products -- from the nails, screws and bolts to the staples and the bathtub.  The house was built with more than 120 products from more than 33 states.

"The house is done and every part of it is made in America," he said.  "I can say there's only two things we could not find that's produced in this country.  It's a microwave oven and a door chime.  Neither of which are important for my client anyways in this house."

Lewendal maintained last year that if every builder bought just 5 percent more U.S.-made materials, 220,000 jobs would be created.

From Gorilla Tape of Cincinnati to a Sherwin-Williams plant in Georgia and a Moen plant in Pennsylvania, companies around the country agreed that if builders bought more American products, they would put people back to work.

So far, builders have been following Lewendal's lead, even signing petitions and contracts pledging to build with 5 percent more American products, including Maze nails, which are produced in Peru, Ill.

But others went a step further in the Made in America cause.  Currently, all-American homes are being built or have been completed in Montana, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Florida and Virginia.

In Bullard, Texas, builders Gary Bayless and Joe Runnels from Bayless Custom Homes constructed their first all-American house.

Gerald Rowlett in Lake Oswego, Ore., said the day he and his team finished their American-made home, they celebrated by singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

And in Spokane, Wash., home builder Corey Condron broke ground in March on a house using only American-made products.  He said the nails were from the East Coast and the flooring was from Idaho -- even the bath fixtures were made in the U.S.

Lewendal said that he set about building the Bozeman, Mont., home to prove that making all-American homes is "easy to do."

"The idea is to get one all-American home built in every state in the union," he said. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ad Deemed Too Political for Seattle Metro Allowed to Run

ABC News(SEATTLE) -- TAP America, a Seattle nonprofit organization, was initially rebuffed by the Seattle Metro bus transit system when it sought to run advertisements on local buses that would urge shoppers to buy American goods. But Seattle Metro changed its tune Thursday, saying it would allow the ads to run, despite initially deeming them too political for city buses.

According to Mark Bloome, founder of TAP America, he "got notice that they turned it down because they said it was political and controversial," a designation that Bloome said left him "flabbergasted." "To have a government body say that to buy American is controversial, I don't get it," Bloome said.

The initial ban seemed to stem from a Seattle metro policy that bars "Public issue advertising expressing or advocating an opinion, position or viewpoint on matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues." This ban went into place after a group sought to place ads depicting Israelis as war criminals on buses, which were not allowed to run. Seattle Metro's initial response to the TAP America ads was, "The concept of Buy American is an issue of both political and economic debate."

Bloome said, however, that TAP America's advertisement did not fall into that category.

"We're not political, we're a nonprofit organization trying to help our country."

The Seattle Metro system apparently agreed, as it reversed its decision and allowed the ads to run. "Upon further evaluation ... the ad does not express an opinion about a public issue ... but rather a promotion of the sale of goods," Seattle Metro said in a statement. "Therefore, we will allow it to run."

The words "December Is Buy American Month, Shop Locally, Join Seattle's," will be displayed to Seattle Shoppers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio