The decline of American manufacturing has been a constant political hot topic. While industries like finance and real estate have steadily grown domestically workers in the manufacturing sector have found their jobs being outsourced for cheaper labor overseas.
Arrow shirts are a part of a rich heritage that dates back to the mid-1800s, with roots in Chicago and Troy (New York). The company's Arrow USA 1851 line of fashionable and well-loved shirts is a tribute to those roots. As with most apparel, production is not in the United States. While Arrow USA 1851 may be on a tag, another tag could indicate that the shirt was manufactured in Cambodia, China or Bangladesh.
The all-American Barbie doll has been a major part of many young girls' lives. Mattel is renowned for making iconic toys like the all-American Barbie doll. Although the company is based out of California, it closed its last U.S. factory in 2002 and moved all production to China.
Black & Decker
Black & Decker invented the portable electric drill in 1917 in a small Baltimore-based machine shop. Stanley Works now owns the company, which has roots in Baltimore as well as a few production facilities throughout North America. In fact, it recently closed a 25 year-old Chinese plant and announced a $90million outlay to manufacture in Fort Worth, Texas. However, most of its manufacturing is still done in China.
Converse is one of America's most well-known footwear brands, especially for its Chuck Taylor All-Stars. After struggling for many decades, the brand filed for bankruptcy several times and was eventually sold to Nike. This helped the shoes recover but also allowed them to move manufacturing from the United States to Indonesia and other Asian countries.
Sears created Craftsman to sell hardware products from other manufacturers, once being America's most trusted brand. Craftsman advertised its "Made in the USA” pedigree up until 2004 when a lawsuit was filed against the brand. Craftsman, now part of Stanley Black & Decker, was accused of misleading customers about tools made from metal parts imported from abroad. Only a few Craftsmen industrial products are still made in America today, while most of the rest are made overseas.
Fender Stratocaster, a guitar that is strongly associated with American music icons such as Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix, is an iconic instrument. Even though many models are made in Mexico, the six-string guitar is still very popular with musicians. American-made models still exist, but they cost roughly twice as much.
Fisher-Price was founded in New York in 1930 and has been producing reliable toys for children for almost a century but has moved all manufacturing to China in the last decades.
Ford, founded by Henry Ford, an entrepreneur and closely linked to the Motor City of Detroit is an iconic American car manufacturer. Ford still operates some domestic unionized plants, but unlike other automakers, it does not make any of its vehicles entirely from American parts. For example, the Ford Edge is made in Canada while the Fusion is made here.
G.I. Joe, the original action figure was described as a morally upright hero from different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. But the Hasbro-made doll is not as all-American and as popular as its marketing claims. Hasbro, one of the largest toys companies in the world, relies on Asian factories to make its toys; Joe is no exception.
Gerber baby food is the number one supplier of baby products in the world today, with millions of Americans having been raised by it. Since 1994, Gerber's products were manufactured abroad by Nestle, a Swiss conglomerate. It announced last year plans for $30 million expansion of its Fort Smith, Arkansas plant.
Gillette is a well-known American brand. Gillette is well-known for its razor products. The Gillette Stadium is home to the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots. An advertising watchdog group found that the company exaggerated its connection to Beantown in its advertisements, which highlighted the Boston headquarters of the company. The problem with that is that the company makes its products in several other countries, such as China, Mexico, and Brazil, and shouldn't be implying broad "Made in USA" cred.
Levi's, an American brand that has survived since its founding in California's gold rush era, is untied from the blue jeans it introduced into fashion. Today, however, most of Levi's iconic garment-maker products are made in China, Vietnam, or other parts of the world.
Monopoly, an American board game that is still very popular, was created to help people understand capitalist economics. The original game was created by Parker Bros. and was held by them until 1991 when Hasbro acquired it. Today, the Monopoly boxes are made in Ireland from plastic houses and hotels.
The Nike swoosh logo is one of the most well-known brand logos in the world. It recalls the Nike's athletic shoes and the endorsements from American athletes. Although the company was founded in Oregon in 1970, it has been manufacturing shoes in overseas plants since then. This is because of new labor laws in South Korea, Taiwan, and South Korea that led to the export of footwear to more favorable markets like Vietnam and China. As wages in China have increased, Nike has moved more production to Vietnam and other Asian countries. The company announced that it would spend $184 million in 2019 to expand its third U.S. facility for "Air Manufacturing Innovation." This idea was destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Since 1917, the red toy wagon made by Chicago-based Radio Flyer has been an iconic part of American children's lives. Before the move to China, the Chicago plant was responsible for manufacturing the wagon and other products.
Is baseball still America's favorite pastime, even though the balls that were used for it aren’t made in America anymore? It was established in St. Louis, and manufactured baseballs in Puerto Rico. However, it had already moved production from St. Louis to Haiti when it became an official Major League Baseball supplier. The balls are now made in China and Costa Rica.
What could be more American-looking than sunglasses worn by JFK, Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise? Although the image is still American, production has moved to other countries. Bausch & Lomb, the eye-care company, sold the brand to Luxottica in Italy in 1999. Since then, the fashionable shades have been produced both there and in China.
Samsonite was founded in Denver and has since grown to be a leading luggage manufacturer. After 2005's ownership change, the headquarters moved to Massachusetts. However, the main branch and a portion of manufacturing are now located in Europe. The majority of inventory is located in Asia with at least 40% coming from India's factory.
Schwinn, one of the most prominent bicycle brands, manufactured and sold light American-made bikes at a Chicago facility until 1991 when cheaper international competitors forced the company to outsource its manufacturing. Since then, the company was sold to Pacific Cycle by Dorel Industries. The current China-and Taiwan-made Schwinn models are very different from classic Schwinns. However, Detroit Bike stated last year that it would again produce the classic Collegiate cruiser of Schwinn stateside.
Woolrich, a legendary company that supplied uniforms to Union soldiers in the Civil War in 1830, can no longer claim "Made In USA." Other companies such as L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer used the company's woolen products and distinctive Buffalo Check pattern. Bean and Eddie Bauer, as well as its own line. Production eventually began to move overseas to China, Vietnam, or other countries. The company announced in late 2018 that it was closing its Pennsylvania plant.