March 18, 2017
Trump is pushing 'Buy American.' But customers (mostly) don't care (Heather Long, March 13, 2017, CNN)
Cathy Paraggio always checks the labels on stuff she buys: Is it made in China? Vietnam? Bangladesh? Mexico? Or America?She was a big believer in the "Made in the USA" movement long before President Trump started telling the nation to "Buy American and hire American."In 2012, Paraggio launched a male swimsuit brand called NoNetz. It makes swimsuits that prevent chafing and rashes. Paraggio vowed to make the suits in the U.S. She found a textile factory in Brooklyn, MCM Enterprise, that could do the work.There was just one problem: The suit cost $23 to make in Brooklyn. Making it in China and shipping it to Paraggio's office cost a mere $10.Manufacturing in America "makes me look like a bad business person," Paraggio told CNNMoney. She went with the Brooklyn option anyway. Surely, she thought, customers would prefer to see the "Made in the USA" label.That's not what happened."No one cares about Made in the USA," says Paraggio, who recently ordered some suits from China for the first time after Daymond John of Shark Tank gave her frank advice to get real about the bottom line. So she placed the order. And cried.Trump preaches "Buy American" often. He mentioned it in his Inaugural Address. He brought it up in his first prime-time speech to Congress (watched by over 47 million people). He made it a campaign issue.But the largest obstacle to Trump's vision may be the American shopper, who is constantly on the lookout for a good deal.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 18, 2017 2:53 PM