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Shoppers' guide directs people to products 'Made in America'

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Monday, November 27, 2023   

Consumer watchdogs say Black Friday sales might have set records this year, as retailers offer deep discounts to get shoppers into their stores, and Cyber Monday could do the same.

For shoppers who are concerned about where these gifts were made, a new directory lists American-made products from more than 200 companies, and in every state. The latest poll shows consumers support buying them, to boost the economy and create more jobs.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said the purpose of the "Made in America Holiday Gift Guide" is twofold.

"We have found that a lot of people don't know where to look for 'made in America' gifts, and having something that's curated makes that task a little bit easier," Paul explained. "We also want to celebrate the companies that are making things in America."

Five Indiana companies are included in this year's guide. Among those polled, 86% said they would purchase American-made items this holiday season if large retailers stocked them.

Paul sees America's renewed interest in the manufacturing sector as a positive for public policy and small businesses. The Small Business Administration said Indiana is home to nearly 14,000 small businesses within the manufacturing industry.

Cyber Monday has grown to reap billions in sales from online shoppers since it began in 2005. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce said Cyber Monday sales totaled almost $11 billion in 2021. However, hundreds of thousands of items posted on retail websites omit the origin of a product.

Paul argued an informed customer makes better choices, and online shopping should be more transparent.

"Even though, if you're shopping on a big website, there's no requirement that they post where that product is made," Paul pointed out. "Despite offering thousands of other details, in some cases, about that product."

In the poll, 81% of those surveyed would support a bill in Congress, known as the Country of Origin Online Labeling Act, which would require a product's country of origin and seller information be available to shoppers online. By law, only brick-and-mortar retailers must now provide such information.

Disclosure: The Alliance for American Manufacturing contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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