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Spoiler: Americans want more Made in America, a new market outlook survey from Morning Consult shows.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of U.S. consumers routinely looked for Made in America products in the past year, a recent Morning Consult survey shows. And, economic pressures such as inflation and rising interest rates have seemingly done little to dampen consumer enthusiasm for domestic manufacturers, with the number of consumers willing to pay more for Made in America goods diminishing by only 4 percentage points from February 2022 to May 2023.
The survey also found that American companies that partially or fully reshore their businesses from overseas to American soil will likely see a favorability boost of 15 to 41 percentage points among American consumers.
Consumers don’t just want products that are assembled in the U.S., paying little more than lip service to Made in America. Rather, Morning Consult’s survey finds that 60% of respondents define “Made in America” as products that incorporate American-made parts and American labor. A vast majority (70%) of respondents said that they hold a favorable opinion of companies that commit to a fully Made in America supply chain.
In contrast, only 29% said they hold a favorable view of U.S. companies that utilize Chinese parts and labor in their supply chains.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing saw similar results in a survey we conducted with Morning Consult this past month. It found that 70% of Americans think that the federal government should be doing more to support American manufacturing.
Important as consumer purchasing power is, the federal government must play its role in leveling the playing field for America’s factory workers.
The global apparel market has seen particular public attention in recent months, with ever-increasing scrutiny of e-commerce behemoths SHEIN and Temu. These Chinese retailers have allegedly exploited forced labor among a litany of other alarming practices, but new legislation could put an end to some of these abuses.
Co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and in the Senate by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the Import Security and Fairness Act aims to close a U.S. Customs loophole that allows importers to ship goods valued below $800 without duties or inspections. It’s a provision that was originally intended to relieve Customs workers from souvenir inspections, but in the age of online shopping, it’s become a key strategy in SHEIN and Temu’s stratospheric success.
The American public clearly sees Made in America’s economic value, and it would seem that more companies are coming to that same realization. A Bank of America analysis of S&P 500 earnings call transcripts at the end of 2023’s first quarter found that mentions of reshoring were up 128% compared to the same time last year.
American Giant, a retailer that has committed to a fully American-made supply chain and continues to expand its product lines by cultivating domestic sources, has seen tremendous growth. This year, the company’s annual Fourth of July shirt has sold out online several times. American Giant CEO Bayard Winthrop said in a New York Times story.
“It really feels to me that there’s an awakening happening right now,” he said. “Consumers are intuitively understanding the backdrop to this conversation.”