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Everybody is a consumer

My Take | August 28, 2023 | By: Janet Preus

Price counts, but it isn’t the only thing. Quality, in the long run, is often more economical, even if it costs more upfront. Can I get what I want when I need to get it? What if something isn’t right? Will the vendor make it right? How long will that take? How will this impact my use of it? Surely these questions—and many more—are significant for a business that’s purchasing supplies or end products, just as they are for me, the end consumer. Does it matter if these goods (or services) I’m interested in buying are offered by an American vendor?

In his first week in office, President Biden signed an Executive Order regarding the “Made in America” program. The White House touted this order as a “whole-of-government initiative to strengthen the use of federal procurement to support American manufacturing.” Furthermore, a Made in America office was established within the White House Office of Management and Budget. But what does this mean in the context of international business? What is the larger impact of this policy and where are we now? 

Since I’m not writing an investigative piece of journalism here, I’m not in a position to answer those questions, but our feature writer, Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, is, and he’s offered a good overview of the situation in his article, “Renewed vitality in domestic manufacturing.” He also provides some strategies for maneuvering through the anomalies, as he calls them, in our post-pandemic economy, focusing on incentives available through The Inflation Reduction Act, as well as other ongoing opportunities.

But even more interesting is the scope of this article on domestic manufacturing. As is so frequently noted, we are a global economy and a global industry, too, whether you do business internationally or not. One might as well consider what’s happening in other parts of the world because—one way or another—it could impact your business, as well. This is one of the reasons the U.S. government has a renewed interest in bolstering American manufacturing. 

I will freely admit that I’m a hangtag reader of the first order. I note the materials used in what I buy and where the products are made. I will also admit that, even though I’m well aware that many very fine products are produced elsewhere, I’m a little more likely to buy something made in America. It could be an emotional response, since it is my country, after all. But it also has to do with my confidence in the product’s quality and the likelihood I’ll get good service, if that’s needed. This is where the Made in America branding can really have an impact where it counts: with end consumers. Anywhere in the world. 

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