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Entries in Made in the USA (14)

Monday
Dec032012

Some New Apple iMacs Say 'Assembled in USA'

A 2012 iMac bought by iFixit.com reads "Assembled in USA" rather than "Assembled in China." (iFixit)(NEW YORK) -- The new iMacs' 5mm edges and vivid displays are the first things you will notice about Apple's brand-new all-in-one desktops, which went on sale last Friday. But a few people noticed something else.

On the bottom of a few iMac pedestals, some buyers saw the following text: "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in USA." Most Apple products, of course, say, "Assembled in China."

iFixit.com, a website that dismantles products to determine the cost and make of the system, also had a machine made in the U.S. "It's the first product from Apple in quite a long while that says 'Assembled in the United States,'" Miroslav Djuric, iFixit's chief information architect, told ABC News. iFixit said it bought the iMac at an Apple Store. It did not configure it with any special parts from Apple's website.

Some other sites such as Fortune and 9to5Mac were contacted by buyers who said they had similar U.S.-assembled computers.

Apple declined to comment on the iMacs assembled in the U.S.

Some analysts and journalists do point out that Apple has assembled some of its recent Mac products in the U.S. before. Both 9to5Mac and Fortune pointed out that it wasn't that rare for Mac computers that can be configured online. In fact a number of conversations on Apple.com, dating all the way back to 2006, indicate that a number of configure-to-order Mac machines had shipped with the same text.

9to5Mac editor Seth Weintraub pointed out that these new iMac systems are not configure-to-order. "But now we are seeing with standard off-the-shelf, and these are the first ones out of the gate, so it seems suspicious," Weintraub said. He also pointed out that Apple's 10K filings with the SEC show that the company has no "manufacturing facilities in the U.S."

The Federal Trade Commission states specifically, "For the 'assembly' claim to be valid, the product's last 'substantial transformation' also should have occurred in the U.S. That's why a 'screwdriver' assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn't usually qualify for the 'Assembled in USA' claim." The same site pointed out that Apple had a plant in Elk Grove and that it has been hiring over the last year.

ABC News' own iMac review unit was not assembled in the U.S. It was labeled "Assembled in China" on the bottom. Apple has manufactured and assembled most of its products in China and has been widely criticized for the poor working conditions in the factories of its Foxconn contractor. ABC News' Bill Weir got an exclusive look at some of those factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China in February of last year. Since that trip, Apple, along with the Fair Labor Association, has vowed to make changes to working hours, overtime and more.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said before that he would like to make more Apple products domestically. "I want there to be a product made in the United States," he said at the All Things D conference in May. He pointed out that some parts are made in the U.S., including the Gorilla Glass screen on Apple's iPhones.

In October, Lenovo announced plans to bring some production of its ThinkPad laptops and desktops to the U.S. The company will start assembling and making hardware in early 2013 in Whitsett, N.C.

Given Apple's silence on this, it is likely the company hasn't taken such a step and that this isn't any different than past "Assembled in USA" Macs. One would assume Apple would be far more vocal about bringing more manufacturing capabilities to America. Of course, Apple is one of the most secretive companies in the business, but for now we do know that at least some of those large iMacs are being "assembled in USA" right now.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct032012

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

Monday
Sep102012

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

Tuesday
Aug072012

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

Monday
Jul162012

‘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

Friday
Jun012012

US Products Are Tops in the Middle East

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From cars and food to clothing and businesses, consumers in the Middle East love their U.S. products.

According to the U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce, U.S. exports to the Arab world are expected to reach $117 billion next year -- up from $68 billion in 2010 -- which result in one million stateside jobs.

The U.S. is the top exporting country to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with exports totaling $13.8 billion and $2.8 billion in 2011, respectively.  The top growth sectors are machinery, meat, household goods, toys and games.

GM is the number one American car company in the Middle East. While the U.S. car industry grew by just 1 percent in 2011, GM said that it grew by 13 percent.  Its Tahoe sport utility vehicle, manufactured in Texas, is the number one seller in the region, followed by the Yukon SUV.

Eli's Cheesecake out of Chicago forged a partnership in 2010 with Herfy, Saudi Arabia's biggest and most successful fast-food brand.  With 250 workers, Eli's makes 15,000 to 20,000 desserts a year and now exports about 10 percent of those treats to Herfy's network of 185 restaurants in five countries.

Eli's said that because of its overseas deal, the company has grown by 50 percent in the past year.

For Nancy Mercolino, president of Ceilings Plus, the Middle East -- and Europe -- have meant big business for her Los Angeles manufacturing company.  Ceilings Plus has $30 million in annual revenue and 55 percent of its sales hail from Europe and the Middle East.

"We've doubled our job count at our company -- more than double in the last four years -- and we owe that to our exporting," she told ABC News.  "We owe the growth of Ceilings Plus over the past five years to the innovation, care and quality of our employees."

The 160-strong company, which makes wood and metal ceilings, beat out 10 others to build all the ceilings in the new Doha airport.  Every single component of the ceilings -- all three million square feet -- were made in Los Angeles.

Mercolino also credited Export-Import Bank of the U.S. with her company's overseas business boom.

"[The bank] also made an incredible impact on our ability to get the equipment and finance these projects," she said.  "Without [Export-Import] bank, we wouldn't be here today.  We could not have done this project without government financing.  Private lenders don't readily lend as deemed risky."

Mercolino said that as small businesses like hers and Eli's gained more experience and knowhow to take their product overseas, other countries should take notice.

"It's a long journey that's still not done.  We're still in the beginning phase," she said.  "If we get started exporting, China, I think, should watch out.  We are the sleeping giant and they're just waking us up." 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

Apple Products Made in the USA?

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) -- “Designed by Apple in Cupertino, Assembled in China.” That’s what it says on the back of the iPhone right now.

But Tim Cook wishes it could say “Assembled in the United States.”

Speaking at the All Things D conference in Los Angeles, the Apple CEO said, “I want there to be a product made in the United States.” Cook was responding to a question by interviewer Walt Mossberg about the issues Apple faces with manufacturing overseas and why it doesn’t attempt to make an iPhone in the United States.

Cook highlighted the issues with manufacturing in the United States -- cost and facilities -- but also noted that parts of the iPhone are made in Apple’s home country. “The glass on your iPhone is made in a plant in Kentucky,” Cook said on stage. Additionally, he said that “the engine for the iPad and iPhone are built in the U.S. in Austin.”

Apple has faced criticism about working conditions at its Foxconn factory in China. ABC News’ Nightline exclusively reported on those conditions in February.  In March, Foxconn and Apple agreed to improve the conditions, including worker pay and hours, after the Fair Labor Association made a series of recommendations.

Cook detailed the challenges with manufacturing in the United States, including the lack of processor production in the country. Still, when asked if one day it might say “assembled in the United States" on an iPhone, he responded by saying, “It may, it may. But you could put down there several parts are made in the United States.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

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

Wednesday
Nov232011

Obama Store Stocked for Black Friday: Goods Entirely ‘Made in USA’

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- This Black Friday, count President Obama’s re-election campaign as one “retailer” fully stocked and hungry for a slice of the holiday shopping pie.

A glimpse inside the campaign store at headquarters found shelves loaded with the traditional array of screen print T-shirts, buttons, stickers and yard signs.

But there’s also plenty of non-traditional “swag” to accompany what aides bill as a non-traditional campaign.

New arrivals include Obama-Biden branded yoga pants, basketball jerseys, golf divot tools, martini glasses, cutting boards, grill spatulas and cufflinks.

Bo Obama, the first family’s pet Portuguese Water Dog, makes a cameo appearance on a button.

Vice President Joe Biden’s face is emblazoned on a coffee mug titled “Cup of Joe.”

And a facsimile of the president’s birth certificate appears both on “Made in the U.S.A.” T-shirts and coffee mugs, poking fun at the conspiracy theorists who insist Obama was born abroad.

Campaign officials won’t reveal which are the hottest selling items, or how much revenue the sales have raised.

One thing they will say for certain is that everything on the shelves was manufactured on U.S. soil.

“If a product isn’t made here, we won’t brand it and sell it,” a campaign official said, adding that staff members have actually vetted some factories to ensure materials are made or assembled in America.

Not all the 2012 presidential candidates can make the same claim. A number of the Republican contenders have hawked goods made overseas.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

High-End Retailers Market Made in USA Clothing

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- High-end retailers are trying to remind shoppers again that wearing clothes made in the United States is hip. Apparel company Club Monaco is launching an exclusive line this week that might appeal to the inner patriotism of consumers.

Club Monaco, owned by Polo Ralph Lauren, announced this week the launch of an exclusive men's "Made in the U.S.A." collection in its stores in New York City's storied Fifth Avenue and its near-equivalent in Toronto, Canada, on Bloor Street.

Of course, Club Monaco is not the only manufacturer to have clothing made in the country. Jean company Wrangler, owned by apparel company VF Corporation, is the largest employer in Hackleburg, Ala., though it also has factories outside the U.S. Wrangler announced it is rebuilding its U.S. plant that was destroyed by a tornado in April.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 154,700 apparel manufacturing jobs in the country as of September. According to New York State’s Department of Labor, there were 19,823 apparel manufacturing jobs in New York State last year, compared with 65,182 of those jobs in 2000.

Women's fashion designer, Nanette Lepore, has long advocated for popular and mass designers to base their manufacturing and respective jobs in the country instead of outsourcing to so-called cheaper alternatives in countries like China.

A report from consulting firm Boston Consulting Group in August reported that China's manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. will end "within five years" in part due to rising Chinese wages, higher U.S. productivity, and a weaker dollar.

The Made in U.S.A. label has attracted some criticism however, with some clothing manufactured in U.S. commonwealth Saipan and Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands permitted to carry such labels.

Lepore has been a part of the Save the Garment District campaign to preserve the apparel factories in New York City. Lepore said it was "fantastic" that Club Monaco is experimenting with a collection made in the country and hopes other designers take note.

"I can produce things in the country at around the same price at a greater quality," Lepore said. "It's great to work in America because we have better control of quality and the factory. We are in there two or three times a day watching everything."

The other advantages include understanding worker conditions, promoting middle class jobs, decreasing the carbon footprint and having quicker speed to market if something is selling well.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio