Shining a light on an interesting subject

Made in America.

It is an important value for me.

And to a lot of other Americans as well.  And as one might imagine, the issue of what is a Made in America product is not without a little controversy.

I recently came across an interesting article that discusses the efforts of Alan Uke to provide more information on the inputs that go into the products we buy.  Mr. Uke’s book, Buying America Back, A Real-Deal Blueprint for Restoring American Prosperity, proposes that the Federal Government revamp the country-of-origin label that is required on all products sold on our shores. Mr. Uke thinks the labels should include sourcing information on all of the product’s parts and components along with the trade balance the U.S.  A very interesting idea.

Another skirmish going on the labeling front involves Maglite, a firm that makes awesome flashlights I wrote about earlier.  The Federal Trade Commission has a definition of what it means to be Made in America.  California’s definition is even more strict and the founder of Maglite, Anthony Maglica is supporting a change in this definition.  The outcome of this issue is still up in the air.

I think this discussion of what it means to be “Made in America” is healthy.  But we should avoid so strict a definition that it is impossible to meet.  Assembling a flashlight in California with 90% U.S. components is a “Made in America” flashlight in my world.  What do you think?  I would be interested in your opinions.

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
This entry was posted in american made, Made in America, made in usa, Outsourcing, Trade and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Shining a light on an interesting subject

  1. I am all in favor of better labeling, especially if it strongly highlights the country of origin. As far as putting a single percentage such as 90% or over to be considered to be an American product on a national level and for all products may be difficult.
    Government has never made things simple and easy. Take for example, an American wine, say a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. To be considered the wine to be a Cabernet Sauvignon – it needs to be made of at least 75% of Cabernet Sauvignon. To be considered from Napa Valley, 85% of that wine must be from the area, for it to be considered a “California wine”, 100% of the grapes must be from California. For the vintage (the year that it was harvested), 85% must have been harvested that year, unless it is from a special appellation (A.V.A.), like Oakville, then 95% must be harvested from that year.
    It would be nice if to be considered “Made in the USA” that the material of the manufactured items were at least 90% from the United States and assembled in the United States, but that would be too easy. -Jack A

  2. Trisha says:

    I would love to see better labeling. When I am buying seafood I always want it to be “wild caught” and preferably not from asian countries. However, under present guidelines, a fish can be caught by chinese fishermen, processed by chinese fishermen and shipped to the U.S. and then Americans can bread the fish and pack it and it can be labeled “product of the USA”. It is astounding how many food items I have found in the stores from China and I wouldn’t touch them with a 10ft. pole! I have wonder what has become of all of the pineapple companies in Hawaii since I can’t find any American pineapple in cans anymore-they all come from Thailand!

  3. Pete from Baltimore says:

    First of all , i do won a Maglite flashlite. I do interior demolition work in old houses.So i often have to use my flashlight when entering old, and sometimes dangerous, houses where there is no light.Its a good flashlight that really doesnt cost much more than a name brand import

    Secondly, i read information at Maglites’s website a few years back, explaining their position on imported parts. Very few companies make an entire product in one factory. They often depend on small parts suppliers. And some small parts are simply no longer made in America. I read something similiar on a website of a company that made bicycles in America. The website explained that although the company went way out of its way to be entirly American made, some parts[ seats i believe, were one.] were simply no longer made in America

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