Imported products sold in the United States contain far more U.S. parts or other content and value and support significantly more American jobs than consumers or policymakers realize, according to a new report prepared for the National Retail Federation.
“This report looks at retailers’ worldwide sourcing of merchandise not just as a global supply chain but as a global value chain,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “It shows the value added at each step along the way, not just in manufacturing but from the initial concept to the finished product. Even in a product that says ‘Made in China,’ much of what goes into that product is ‘Made in America.’ That means millions of American jobs for American workers regardless of what the label might say.”
“Rethinking Made in America in the 21st Century” was prepared for NRF by Laura M. Baughman, a well-known Washington economist specializing in international trade and president of The Trade Partnership.
“In a world of global supply chains, does ‘Made in America’ really mean what people think?” Shay and Baughman ask in the introduction to the report. “Unbeknownst to consumers, imported goods with foreign labels often include significant but unrevealed amounts of U.S. content.”
Of $1.85 trillion in products imported in 2009, $464 billion of the value was American and 10 million U.S. jobs, or 11.2 percent of U.S. employment, were sustained by global supply chains in 2008, the report said.