Come On, China, Buy Our Stuff!

A Gap Inc. store in Shanghai, China.

A Gap Inc. store in Shanghai, China.

By NYT ADAM DAVIDSON    Published: January 25, 2012

The first time I visited China, in 2005, an American businessman living there told me that the country was so huge and was changing so fast that everything you heard about it was true, and so was the opposite. That still seems to be the case. China is the fastest-growing consumer market in the world, and American companies have made billions there. At the same time, Chinese consumers aren’t spending nearly as much as American companies had hoped. China has simultaneously become the greatest boon and the biggest disappointment.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2000, the United States forged its current economic relationship with China by permanently granting it most-favored-nation trade status and, eventually, helping the country enter the World Trade Organization. The unspoken deal, though, went something like this: China could make a lot of cheap goods, which would benefit U.S. consumers, even if it cost the country countless low-end manufacturing jobs. And rather than, say, fight for an extra bit of market share in Chicago, American multinationals could offset any losses because of competition by entering a country with more than a billion people — including the fastest-growing middle class in history — just about to buy their first refrigerators, TVs and cars. It was as if the United States added a magical 51st state, one that was bigger and grew faster than all the others. We would all be better off.

More than a decade later, many are waiting for the payoff. Certainly, lots of American companies have made money, but many actual workers have paid a real price. What went wrong? In part, American businesses assumed that a wealthier China would look like, well, America, says Paul French, a longtime Shanghai-based analyst with Access Asia-Mintel. He notes that Chinese consumers have spent far less than expected, and the money they do spend is less likely to be spent on American goods. Read more of this post

Ford Salaried Workers to Get Raises & Bonuses

Associated Press – Thu, Jan 19, 2012

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is showing confidence in its turnaround and the U.S. economy by giving pay raises and bonuses to 20,000 white-collar workers mainly in the U.S. and Canada.

Workers got letters from President of the Americas Mark Fields last week saying they’ll get 2.7 percent base pay increases on April 1. They’ll also get bonuses this year based on their individual performances, spokeswoman Marcey Evans said.

Ford made $6.6 billion in the first three quarters of last year. It will report fourth-quarter earnings later this month. The company’s U.S. sales rose 11 percent last year. It has made a huge turnaround since 2006, when it lost $12.6 billion and had to borrow more than $20 billion to stay in business.

Salaried workers didn’t get pay raises last year, but many were granted performance bonuses. They got only merit pay in 2010 and no raises or bonuses were given in 2009, Evans said.

The raises are necessary to keep Ford’s pay competitive with other Fortune 100 companies, Evans said. Each year, Ford studies pay at competitors and other companies, she said.

Ford also raised its matching contribution to the salaried employees’ 401(k) retirement plan. The company now pays 60 cents for every dollar an employee contributes, up to 5 percent of their salary. This year the contribution will rise to 80 cents, Evans said.

She would not say how much the raises, bonuses and additional contributions will cost the company.

The raises rankled some United Auto Workers members because they did not get annual pay raises in a new four-year contract negotiated with the company last year. During the contract talks, the company told union negotiators that it didn’t want to give raises to avoid recurring annual expenses.

But the workers got signing bonuses and lump-sum profit sharing payments that are worth at least $16,700 over the four-year contract. Workers at General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC agreed to similar contracts with payments smaller than those given to Ford workers.

“I’m disappointed to hear that,” Mark Caruso, president of a UAW local at a factory in Saline, Mich., said of the white-collar raises. Caruso said morale already is bad among workers at his plant west of Detroit. A Ford holding company is trying to sell the factory to an auto parts supplier.

A UAW spokeswoman in Detroit said Thursday that she would check with her superiors to see if the union will comment on the white-collar raises.

The pay raise announcement was reported early Thursday by the Detroit Free Press.

Ford compensation records obtained by The Associated Press last year show that UAW-represented hourly workers have seen larger increases in pay and benefits over the last decade than many white-collar workers.

The UAW, according to the records, was able to protect longtime factory workers from changes to health care, overtime and other benefit cuts that salaried workers were forced to take. The average hourly worker at Ford received wages, benefits and overtime totaling $109,020 in 2010, up 17 percent from 1999. But the average salaried factory supervisor made $99,760 in wages and benefits, up just 2 percent in the same period, the records showed.

Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy – Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 9/8c Polo veteran Rick Bostwick lets Larry in on the perils of playing polo both to your body and your bank account.

History Channel Trailer: Larry the Cable Guy 

DELRAY BEACH, FL., (Business Wire) —  Made in USA Certified, USA-C Polo Team is featured in a segment for The History Channels new series “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy” (the official working title) which is set to premier in the third Quarter. The series will feature “Blue Collar Comedy” star Larry The Cable Guy exploring the United States revealing bits of US history, while also immersing himself in the jobs, hobbies, and lifestyles of the locals that “celebrate the American experience.”

In one of the segments slated for the series, Larry explores Wellington, FL, home of  The International Polo Club, Palm Beach (IPC) and the Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame.  Larry recently was filmed at the Bostwick Family Stables in Wellington and is featured learning how to play the game of Polo against the Made in USA Certified USA-C Polo Team.

Made in USA Certified USA-C Polo Team is a perfect partner for the “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy” series as the company is the leader in independent third party assurance verification for genuine “Made in USA” products and services.  Made in USA Certified is a strong advocate for US Business, US Manufacturing and the American workforce which is most definitely part of the whole American Experience.

About Made in USA Certified, Inc. (www.usa-c.com)

Made in USA Certified, Inc. is the leader in independent third party assurance verification for genuine “Made in USA” products and services. Our Seal of Certification assures the consumer that the “Made in USA” or “Product of USA” claim is true– keeping you and your family safe, giving consumers peace of mind and helping to support and promote products and services Made in USA, one factory, one business at a time.

Trust but Certify! ™

Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 9/8c Polo veteran Rick Bostwick lets Larry in on the perils of playing polo both to your body and your bank account.

History Channel Trailer: Larry the Cable Guy 

State Of The Union Speech Text 2012

Below, Obama’s prepared remarks as released by the White House.

As Prepared for Delivery –Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home. Read more of this post

The State of the Union 2012

Watch it here tonight at 9PM ET.  State of The Union Address

“On Tuesday night, I’m going to talk about how we’ll get there. American Manufacturing – with more good jobs and more products stamped with Made in America. American Energy – fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources. Skills for American Workers – getting people the education and training they need so they’re ready to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow. And most importantly, a Return to American Values – of fairness for all, and responsibility from all.” – POTUS

Kudos to President Obama for promoting manufacturing.  As Scott Paul said in a recent Huffington Post op-ed “now is the ideal time for the president to promote manufacturing: “If the president really wants to see “Made in America” stamped on products shipped all over the world, he needs to be bold. We’ll be watching. And so will voters.”

Will you be watching?

RAILEAN® Handcrafted American Rum™ 1st to Become Made in USA Certified®

American consumers now have an American choice.

American consumers now have an American choice.

LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS- Railean Distillers, LLC (RAILEAN) announced today that their portfolio of RAILEAN® rum spirits is the first rum to be MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission requirements under federal law.

Qualifying for the MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® Seal signifies that a manufactured product has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit and certification process to confirm compliance with U.S. laws and regulations in regards to the ‘Made in USA’ claim.

RAILEAN® received official notice of their successful completion of Made in USA Certified Inc.’s proprietary independent audit process and received license to use the Made in USA Seal of Certification. The MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® seal guarantees that a company bearing these trust marks has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to verify compliance withU.S. laws and regulations. Consumers know that when they see this seal, the “The Made in USA” claim has been verified, tested and true.

“Americans are fed up with tax subsidies and bailouts of imported products making it hard for small American businesses to compete, and the rum industry is no exception” said Kelly Railean, President and Founder. “With this elite certification, we are now able to differentiate our rum from every other imported rum on the market. Americans now have a choice between imported mass produced rum and higher quality Handcrafted American Rum™. We are fully committed to providing products Made in theUSA; thus providing jobs, fueling our American economy and aiding in the recovery of our economic system.”

Although additional costs are incurred to meet the stringent Made in USA regulations, a recent Gallup Poll found that 72% of Americans are paying heightened attention to the country of origin of the products they buy and nearly 94% of Americans would pay more for foods grown or produced in the United States of America. American consumers want companies to adhere to strict US labor laws, OSHA safety standards, and the EPA environmental regulations, and they want a guarantee of quality for raw materials, packaging and final product.

Railean Distillers, LLC, founded in 2005 in League City, Texas is a woman-owned business and is the only rum distillery to be certified with the Made in USA Certified seal.

Contacts
Railean Distillers, LLC
Kelly Railean
713-545-2742
info@railean.com

Made in USA Certified
Julie Reiser
561-279-2855
Julie@USA-C.com

How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

iPhone - People flooded Foxconn Technology with résumés at a 2010 job fair in Henan Province China NYT   1-22-12

iPhone - People flooded Foxconn Technology with résumés at a 2010 job fair in Henan Province, China.

By NYT  and   Published: Jan. 21, 2012

When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president.

But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke,President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?

Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.

Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest. Read more of this post

Made in the USA… and China: Why the new paradigm will be to manufacture in both China and America. And Southern U.S. states will win big on jobs.

If I had told you in the summer of 2009 that America’s long-suffering manufacturing industries would lead the lackluster recovery from the Great Recession, you probably would have wondered what I was reading—or smoking.

I would have been correct, however. As a June 1 report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) noted, May 2011 marked the 22nd consecutive month in which U.S. manufacturing expanded. Exports have driven much of the growth. Last year, for example, U.S. exports increased more than 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau, and some 85 percent of those exports were manufactured goods.

It comes as no surprise that manufacturing employment also is on the rise, with related jobs increasing last year for the first time since 1997.

The good news about U.S. manufacturing is no fluke. For reasons I will explain below, the manufacturing renaissance should continue for years to come. Read more of this post

Obama to Draw an Economic Line in State of Union

A signer interpreted President Obama’s campaign speech on Thursday at the Apollo Theater in New York. His third State of the Union address, before a joint session of Congress, is set for Tuesday.

By NYT    Published: January 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — President Obama will use his election-year State of the Union address on Tuesday to define the role for government in helping to promote a prosperous and equitable society as an American tradition, hoping to draw a stark contrast between the parties in a time of deep economic uncertainty.

In a video preview e-mailed to more than 10 million supporters on Saturday, as South Carolina Republicans went to the polls to help pick an alternative to him, Mr. Obama promised a “blueprint for an economy that’s built to last,” with the government assisting the private sector and individuals to ensure “an America where everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules.”

Mr. Obama has honed that message for months as he has attacked Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, contrasting it with what he has described as Republicans’ “go it alone” free-market views.  Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 145 other followers

%d bloggers like this: