September 17, 1992|By DEBBIE M. PRICE, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The byword rolls appropriate off the tongue. The words accept a accustomed cadence. Buy American. Cheer for the home team. Fight for the right.
Buy American clothes?
Just try and see how far you get.
You appetite jogging shoes, that about American footwear?
Diogenes could eventually acquisition an honest baby-kisser than a cast of active shoes fabricated abandoned in the U.S.A. Nike? Fabricated in Thailand, China and Taiwan. Fila? Korea. Keds? Indonesia. Asics? Korea. Reebok? Fabrique en Corree.
New Balance, which sews a Fabricated in the U.S.A. characterization beyond the argot for all to see, additionally sells Chinese-made men`s jogging shoes.
You appetite some all-American accoutrement from the Gap, that trend-setter for American youth? Some of the jeans are fabricated in the U.S.A., but not all of them. A sweater? Malaysia. Shorts? Taiwan. A blazer? The United Kingdom. A shirt? Hong Kong.
How about a dress from Liz Claiborne, addition abundant American accouterment company? Fabricated in Hong Kong, China, Australia, the Philippines, Korea, Jamaica and Malaysia.
Of course, it isn`t fair to aces on the Gap or Liz Claiborne or sneaker companies. Most American accouterment manufacturers today advertise at atomic some alien accouterment or appurtenances fabricated from calm t that has been stitched calm in the diaphoresis shops of Asia and Central America.
Anne Klein? Hong Kong, China and the U.S.A. from alien fabric. Kasper for ASL? Hong Kong, China and Thailand. Jones New York? The anorak is fabricated in the United States, but the blouse is from Taiwan. Victoria`s Secret? About aggregate is imported. Olga? Assembled in Mexico of U.S. components. Maidenform? Assembled in the Dominican Republic of U.S. materials.
J.C. Penney, Sears, K mart? Veritable bazaars of commodity fabricated elsewhere.
There are a few Made-in-the-U.S.A. hold-outs, conspicuously Levi jeans and the mail-order companies of L.L. Bean and Lands End, but they are acutely in the minority.
How abounding shoppers bother to ask?
“The abandoned bodies who anytime appetite to apperceive area article was fabricated are the old men,“ said Ed Fillmore, administrator of the Foot Locker in a Fort Worth mall. “You know, the ones who fought in World War II.“
Fillmore laughed a little back he said this, but it addled me as added sad than anything. Was endemic the aftermost bearing who cared about befitting America strong?
That is what we`re talking about actuality — befitting the American accomplishment abject strong. Over the aftermost decade, this country has absent at atomic 2 actor accomplishment jobs — 500,000 abandoned in the garment, t and home fashions industries — to workers in Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Hong Kong, to name a few places.
The account of articles invented actuality and now fabricated principally abroad is amaranthine — aggregate from televisions to bench belts — but let`s aloof accede the apparel industry. And why it has been aching so badly.
The abbreviate acknowledgment is bargain Third World activity and barter behavior that animate American manufacturers to accomplishment it.
The Amalgamated Accouterment and
The abiding artefact is burdened abandoned on the amount added or the activity cost. Since activity in these countries is actual bargain — amid 75 cents and $1.50 an hour — the assessment amounts to abandoned a few cents.
The boilerplate U.S. apparel worker, meanwhile, earns $6.97 an hour. Amount again that a dress that costs $20.91 to accomplish at U.S. accomplishment can be sewn in Mexico for $2.25.
Savings? You bet.
Some of the accumulation are anesthetized on to the consumer. But accede that alien accouterment about sells for the aforementioned amount as a commensurable account fabricated in the United States, and you can see that addition is acceptable big.
It`s not the American apparel worker.
“Those absent jobs,“ says Art Gundersheim, abettor to the admiral of the Amalgamated Accouterment and “
Consider the cardinal of U.S. accomplishment jobs that accept been absent to across workers and the fallout from their absent wages, and you can see that the about 8 percent unemployment amount didn`t appear by itself.
Now Activity Secretary Lynn Martin says that the North American Chargeless Barter Agreement, aimed at removing barter barriers amid Canada, Mexico and the United States, will amount 150,000 added jobs. The Bush administering supports the free-trade plan, so you can amount that 150,000 is a bourgeois estimate.
The chargeless barter acceding is a circuitous certificate with acceptable credibility and bad. But one affair is clear.
The plan won`t accomplish it any easier for Americans to buy American.
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