Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch


The White House is Celebrating Made in America Week — But Not Without Criticism

Source: The White House is Celebrating Made in America Week — But Not Without Criticism | Alliance for American Manufacturing

This week is about celebrating Made in America. But is the #FakePresident the one to really tout “Made in America”? The article is from The Alliance for American manufacturing.

President Trump is under fire for his reliance on foreign manufacturing for his own products.

Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, we live every week like it’s Made in America Week.

But the official Made in America Week is currently happening, and President Trump has a whole host of activities lined up to celebrate.

The fun kicked off on Monday at the White House with the “Made in America Product Showcase,” which highlighted an American company from every state. On Wednesday, the president is scheduled to participate in a “Made in America certification event,” and on Thursday, the president is planning a “Made in America announcement.” Things wrap up Saturday in Norfolk, Va., where Trump will attend the commissioning of the Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 aircraft carrier.

But almost as soon as he announced Made in America week, Trump was criticized for not practicing what he preaches. Multiple news outlets have pointed out that many Trump brand products are made overseas, and frankly, some of that criticism is deserved. Here’s the Washington Post:

“For Trump, highlighting U.S.-made products is inconsistent with his practices as a businessman. For years, the Trump organization has outsourced much of its product manufacturing, relying on a global network of factories in a dozen countries — including Bangladesh, China and Mexico — to make its clothing, home décor pieces and other items.”

The Huffington Post also pointed out that Trump’s use of steel and aluminum from China was a big issue during the 2016 presidential campaign, and the president’s daughter/adviser Ivanka Trump is also under fire for her reliance on overseas factories to produce her fashion line. The Daily Beast traveled to the Trump International Hotel in Washington to check out the goods in the gift shop, which had a Made in America T-shirt but nearly everything else for sale was manufactured overseas. (Side note: We offered up some American-made suggestions for the hotel back in September 2016.)

Even the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner ran an op-ed pointing out Trump’s hypocrisy on Made in America.

“’America First’ sounds good when you are the president, but, we all know that whenever money’s been on the table in his extravagant, Napoleon-like penthouse in Manhattan, it’s always been ‘Trump First,’” contributor Mark Vargas wrote.


It’s unclear what might come out of Made in America week — past theme weeks have been overshadowed by current events, often at Trump’s own making. And there’s no doubt that Trump has divided the country, with his opponents pledging to fight him on all fronts.

But whatever you think of Trump, we hope that you can get behind Made in America.

We’ve featured many of the companies taking part in the White House showcase on the blog and our annual gift guide, and our summer interns even talked about their favorite Made in America companies on The Manufacturing Report podcast this week.

American-made goods create jobs and help grow the economy. If every American committed to buying $64 worth of American-made purchases each year, 200,000 new jobs would be created. If contractors increased use of American-made materials by just 5 percent, an additional 200,000 new jobs would be created.

American-made products are also better for the environment, from consumer goods to big industrial needs like steel and aluminum. That’s one of the reasons why a deeply blue state like California is moving toward buying its steel locally — American mills abide by strict environmental guidelines, leading to less pollution to both produce steel and ship it to where it is needed.

And American-made products are often of higher quality than their foreign-made counterparts. There have been serious concerns over China’s lax safety regulations, for example, from everything from toothpaste to toys to dog treats and even processed chicken.

Made in America matters. It’s also perhaps one of the few issues that Americans tend to agree on — 95 percent of voters polled in 2014 had a favorable view of American-made products.

We know that you can’t always buy American-made, but we encourage you to do so when you can. Check the label when you are out shopping, for example. Do a little research on American-made options before making a big purchase like a home appliance or new car.

And we also hope that Team Trump finally steps up and shifts Trump Organization product manufacturing to the United States (Ivanka Trump should also work to manufacture at least some of her clothing line here). Even moving production of just one or two items would go a long way to showing Trump isn’t all talk when it comes to Made in America — and it will support job creation and the economy along the way.


Yes Donald, You Can Make Suits in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Yes Donald, You Can Make Suits in America

Yes Donald, You Can Make Suits in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Joseph Abboud worked with six other Made in America designers to "put together an epic collection" during New York Fashion Week. | Photo via Joseph Abboud on Instagram

Joseph Abboud worked with six other Made in America designers to “put together an epic collection” during New York Fashion Week. | Photo via Joseph Abboud on Instagram

Trump says he doesn’t make his suits here because it’s “very hard.” Here’s proof he’s wrong.

One of the prevailing storylines of the 2016 presidential election has been Donald Trump’s rather combative stance toward companies that offshore their production.

The Donald has threatened Apple. And Ford. And Nabisco. Once he’s president, Trump promises that he will force these companies to bring their production back to American shores.

Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, we’d love to see companies like these bring their factories back to the United States. But let’s be real: Trump is a huge hypocrite.

His own line of suits and ties are made outside the United States in places like China and Mexico. Trump’s daughter Ivanka also outsources production of her popular fashion line, which includes shoes, dresses, and handbags. Trump owns up to this, saying that it’s “very, very hard to have anything in apparel made in this country.

But if Trump really wanted to manufacture his clothing line in America, he could. Below are just a handful of the (very successful!) suit and tie makers who make their products in the United States.

Joseph Abboud

The popular suits — sold at the Men’s Wearhouse chain — are made in the designer’s home state of Massachusetts. Abboud takes pride in keeping it Made in America, and even gave Gov. Charlie Baker a tour of his factory this week.

“The workforce is a highly skilled workforce,” Abboud told the Boston Globe. “When you have 700 to 800 people in your factory, they aren’t individual people, they’re families… I always say it’s great to be made in America, but our distinction is that we’re made well in America.”

Brooks Brothers

Every retail tie produced by the classic chain has at least some of it made by hand in Long Island City, just 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Some of the chain’s clothing and accessories also are made in the United States, including suits, jeans, loafers, and cuff links.


Founded in 1880 in Tennessee, Hardwick bills itself as “America’s Oldest Tailor Made Clothing Company.” The company’s Italian Super 150’s Navy Blazer was named a 2015 Made in the South Awards winner by Garden and Gun magazine.

Read Wall

Launched in Washington’s preppy Georgetown neighborhood, Read Wall calls itself a purveyor of “great, American tailored clothing.” Suits are made to order, and the company also prides itself on sourcing fabric from American mills whenever possible.

Hart Schaffner Marx

While Read Wall began just a few years ago, Hart Schaffner Marx traces its roots way back to 1887, when immigrant brothers Harry and Max Hart opened up a men’s store in downtown Chicago. The brand continues to thrive, as its American-made men’s suits are available at retailers such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.

Hickey Freeman

Dillards and Nordstrom are among the retailers that sell suits from this New York company, whose motto is “Keep the Quality Up.” Since 1899, the retailer has made its suits in a factory in Rochester dubbed “The Temple.”

Ratio Clothing

Looking for an American-made dress or tuxedo shirt? Eric Powell founded Ratio in 2009 because he couldn’t find a quality shirt that fit well. Ratio manufactures all of its custom-made shirts in the United States, and has been featured in men’s style magazines like Esquire and Details.

Todd Shelton

Like Ratio, this New Jersey-based menswear brand is dedicated to manufacturing dress shirts that fit well. The company also offers jeans, pants and T-shirts, all of which is made at the company’s factory in East Rutherford.

This article is from The Alliance for American Manufacturing website.


The “Manufacturing Reshoring Trend Has Subsided”

Offshoring is still beating reshoring — and reshoring is dropping off fast.

Source: The “Manufacturing Reshoring Trend Has Subsided” | Alliance for American Manufacturing

story by Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch, December 22, 2015 from Alliance for American Manufacturing


While some pundits predicted rising Chinese labor costs would bring manufacturing back to the United States, much of the work simply shifted to other Asian countries. Above, a worker in a garment factory in Vietnam. | Photo by ILO in Asia and the Pacific via Flickr Creative Commons

While some pundits predicted rising Chinese labor costs would bring manufacturing back to the United States, much of the work simply shifted to other Asian countries. Above, a worker in a garment factory in Vietnam. | Photo by ILO in Asia and the Pacific via Flickr Creative Commons

Offshoring is still beating reshoring — and reshoring is dropping off fast.

Just like the mullet, shoulder pads and parachute pants, it looks like that whole reshoring thing might be nearing its end — and in fact, it might not have actually ever even been a trend at all.

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney just released its annual U.S. Reshoring Index. The findings show that reshoring not only failed to keep pace with offshoring in 2015, it actually saw the largest one-year drop in 10 years.

Roughly 700 reshoring cases have been announced over the last five years, but only around 60 reshoring cases are expected for 2015. That’s a big drop from 2014, which saw 208 cases.

And while reshoring pundits have pointed to rising labor costs in China as a chief reason why companies will bring manufacturing operations back to the United States, many have just been moving their facilities to other Asian countries. A.T. Kearney reports:

“They have done so without incurring significantly higher supply chain costs, despite the weaker infrastructure and supporting ecosystems of these new low-labor-cost destinations. Vietnam has absorbed the lion’s share of China’s manufacturing outflow, especially in apparel. U.S. imports of manufactured goods from Vietnam in 2015 will be nearly triple the level of imports in 2010.”

A.T. Kearney’s findings are in line with other recent manufacturing sector developments. Manufacturing simply is in terrible shape. Hiring continues to flat line and factory production has stagnated.

Meanwhile, imports continue to hurt American manufacturing. The most recent trade figures show that the deficit with China alone in 2015 sits at $306 billion, compared to $285 billion at the same point in 2014.

It’s a far cry from what many reshoring advocates argued would happen just a few years ago, when they pointed to rising labor costs as one reason why manufacturers would move their operations back to the United States.

Rumors of China’s manufacturing death have been greatly exaggerated, A.T. Kearney notes, with researchers writing that Chinese manufacturers are evolving and “their growing capabilities will challenge their Western rivals in new ways.”

Other findings of note from the index:

  • Some of the sectors that led the reshoring effort in recent years also have shown the highest increase in offshoring, including the electronics, appliances, furniture and machinery industries.
  • Researchers predict that if ratified, the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries “may weaken the business case for reshoring further.”
  • One trend on the rise? Nearshoring. Many companies are leaving Asia to move their operations to Mexico.

Although the researchers write that “it’s fair to say that reshoring as a ‘trend’ is officially dead,” they also argue that the “United States still tops the list of countries where companies from all over the globe want to invest in the coming years.”

It seems that while many U.S. companies aren’t interested in moving their manufacturing back home, many foreign countries see a lot of growth potential here.

Chinese companies in particular have invested heavily to create facilities on U.S. soil, spending about $46 billion since 2000 to build plants and create U.S. manufacturing jobs. Of the 60,000 new manufacturing jobs created due to reshoring in 2014, about 8,000 were at China-owned companies, according to A.T. Kearney.

And although the reshoring trend might appear to be going the way of the Trucker Hat, there is still a lot we can do to revive it. The United States needs a strong manufacturing strategy, one built on balancing trade, investing in our infrastructure, enhancing our workforce training programs and rebuilding our innovation base.

Editor’s Comments

We have seen some optimistic reports in the past couple of years that American manufacturing has been reshoring (bringing back jobs) from China due to the increased wages of Chinese workers and the inability to control quality. But, this has happened only in small spurts. In the meantime, offshoring has continued unabated. There are plenty of Chinese companies on hand ready to sweep away American manufacturing jobs.

Obviously there is a continued net loss of manufacturing year after year. And our government does not care. Of course, there is one party that always wants government to stay out of any business, even though they are responsible for the decimation of American manufacturing. I suspect their ultimate goal is no American manufacturing at all (and no regulations either). Chinese wages will continue to increase making it less profitable to offshore products, but as long as the Chinese can manipulate their monetary unit (The Yuan), they will continue to dominate. And once if costs in China gets too expensive, don’t expect these companies to come back to the United States, they will just find another country to exploit for the extremely poor work force. It is not a rosy future for American manufacturing. How long can America survive on service jobs that can also be easily offshored?

As the report states American business are not interested in bringing jobs back to the United States, but many foreign companies are interested in having factories built in America with American workers. Maybe that is the next boom. We will all be working for Chinese companies. So, who do should we be loyal to? The American based company that offshores all of its jobs or the foreign company that hires American workers? The answer may surprise you, but the one that feeds you, the one that hires American workers. Of course, number one is American company and American workers, but the form that hires American workers is number two.

Buy American-made, keep an American employed – maybe it is your neighbor’s job, maybe it is your own job that you are saving.


Cord Shoes Made in Atlanta

Shoemaker Keeps it Made in the ATL | Alliance for American Manufacturing.

This is a nice story from The Alliance for American Manufacturing, it is about Cord shoes which are 100% made in America and based out of Atlanta.

Shoemaker Makes It Made in the ATL

by Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch on May 1, 2015

American-made Cord Shoes + Boots emphasizes quality over quantity.

Atlanta-based Cord Shoes +Boots does things a little differently than most shoemakers.

For one, each shoe is handcrafted using traditional construction methods. While bigger brands might emphasize volume, Cord is focused on quality. All of the company’s shoes and boots are completely hand-crafted, with no cementing or bonding.

Photo courtesy Cord Shoes + Boots.

Cord Shoes + Boots are also 100 percent Made in America, part of the company’s desire to rebuild shoe manufacturing from the ground-up.

“We’re committed to having a local workforce that’s able to be trained, able to have more than a living wage,” says Danny Echevarria, marketing and operations director at Cord Shoes + Boots. “We’re committed to creating work, not just creating products.”

With styles for both men and women, Cord offers a modern, fresh take on classic work boots. There’s also a line of handcrafted accessories, including wallets.

“We want to create more jobs, and those jobs don’t just have to be in the creative sector, like so many jobs that are created these days. Creating more opportunities in the manufacturing and industrial sector is also important to us.” Danny Echevarria, Cord Shoes + Boots

Cord prices start at $395, which is higher than many consumers are used to paying. But Echevarria promises that it’s worth the cost.

“What you get is a durable product that at the end of the day you don’t throw away. It’s not a disposable product,” he says. “Our shoes may cost more, but in the lifetime that you are going to be wearing them, you’re going to have bought worse quality shoes three for four times over.”

Cord is a “very humble production shop” at this point, Echevarria says. Company founder Sarah Green designs and handcrafts the shoes herself, supported by two apprentices. Echevarria handles the marketing and operations side of the company.

But the company hopes to expand in upcoming months, including hiring additional staff and beginning to offer its products in retail outlets (right now, the shoes are only available online).

“We want to create more jobs, and those jobs don’t just have to be in the creative sector, like so many jobs that are created these days. Creating more opportunities in the manufacturing and industrial sector is also important to us,” he says.

In addition to supporting American workers, Cord products also support local organizations close to the company’s heart. Right now, for example, a portion of the company’s proceeds support the nonprofit Atlanta Underdog Initiative, which focuses on pit bull and mastiff rescue.

The inspiration? The company’s shop dog, Poe.

“Moving forward, we’re going to offer a unique line of products related to issues we care about,” Echevarria says. “A portion of the proceeds from each product will go to a different organization.”

Visit Cord Shoes + Boots online. 

Cord Shoes and Boots

Cord Shoes and Boots

May 2018
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