Two years ago to this exact date, (December 3rd,) I wrote my first blog on the subject of December being officially proclaimed “Made in America Month” by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. If you care to reminisce like me, you can read the original December 3rd, 2010 blog posting here.
Fast forward 2 years later to present day; I am 2 years older/wiser and our business Made in USA Certified will celebrate our 4 Year Anniversary on April 15, 2013. Even today….2 years later it still completely blows me away that our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan proclaimed that the entire month of December be “Made in America Month”.
My amazement and interest in this 1985 proclamation is even stronger today than it was 2 years ago. Every single red blooded American needs to understand the “Why’s and Where For’s” of why this great man would proclaim the largest retail shopping month of the entire year –DECEMBER – “Made in America Month”.
So, let’s have a little fun and dissect it together. Ready?
First it is important to read the Proclamation in its entirety, it’s not long and it deserves your undivided attention- I promise you won’t regret taking the time yourself to read it fully.
Here it the link and full content below:
“December 23, 1985 – A Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America
America’s current trade problems have caused some to wonder whether this country may not be in danger of losing its reputation as a supplier of high quality products at competitive prices. As America’s strong economic growth has led to increased demand for goods and services, imports have become more attractive because of the relative strength of the dollar. U.S. exports have become less attractive to foreign buyers for the same reason. Recently, however, increased growth in the economies of our trading partners and movement of the dollar toward a more sustainable equilibrium give us reason to expect that our trade deficit should ease in the near future. Tough foreign competition, in the last few years, has presented our manufacturers and our work force with a stiff challenge.
But America’s producers are responding to that challenge, and it is time for consumers both here and abroad to take a fresh look at what America has to offer. Those who do will find the traditional variety, high quality, and dependability that “Made in the U.S.A.” has come to symbolize. They also will find this quality at more competitive prices.
Made in America Month also provides an opportunity for American firms and workers to resolve to take greater advantage of new competitive opportunities both here at home and in overseas markets. We Americans do not shrink from competition; we believe in competition — fair competition. Historically, competition constantly creates pressure for innovation, product improvement, and customer satisfaction. The open marketplace makes the consumer the king, and we are all consumers.
In an increasingly competitive world, we Americans must redouble our efforts to make products of the highest quality in the most efficient way and market them aggressively. As we do I have no doubt that more and more Americans and foreigners will be drawn to the products with the proud label: “Made in America.”
The Congress of the United States, by Senate Joint Resolution 206, has authorized and requested the President to proclaim December 1985 as “Made in America Month” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 1985 as Made in America Month. I invite the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities to recognize and celebrate the excellence of American products.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:40 a.m., December 24, 1985]”
Now, if you are still with me – I assure you I won’t waste your time. I am sure like myself, you were struck at the obvious similarities of a lot of the wordage to our current situation today in 2012. This proclamation could have been written almost exactly today, by our 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama.
Ronald Reagan wrote this proclamation after our Nation had been flooded by cheaper Japanese Auto’s. Our American auto markets quality & popularity had dropped and the BIG THREE American auto Manufacturers were being quickly out priced, and out competed by the Japanese cars. (Note: China wasn’t even in the picture yet) This was the first we saw on a large scale of how a massive supply of imports could literally decimate and threaten the existence of an entire industry(s) here in the United States.
As President, Ronald Reagan did a lot to try to “level the playing field”. An often cited example of the benefits of “voluntary export restraints” is the one that emerged on Ronald Reagan’s watch between the Japanese and the United States in the 1980’s. As I mentioned above, those cheaper, highly popular Japanese automobiles were hugely outpacing American cars in the late 70’s & early 80’s.
Top Executives from the U.S. automakers industry lobbied President Ronald Reagan to establish “import quotas” on these Japanese cars. These American automakers were concerned that Japanese automobiles were permanently drawing consumers away from U.S. made vehicles. At that time, the Reagan administration was successful in convincing the Japanese government to temporarily halt auto exports to the U.S. in 1981. A very controversial move on the part of the Reagan administration.
Even early on in Reagan’s campaign he spoke about the U.S. auto industry saying: “Japan is part of the problem. This is where government can be legitimately involved. That is, to convince the Japanese in one way or another that, in their own interests, that deluge of cars must be slowed while our industry gets back on its feet…”
Another quick example is when Reagan imposed a 100% tariff on selected Japanese electronic products for allegedly “dumping” computer memory chips, he said he did it “to enforce the principles of free and fair trade.” And Treasury Secretary James A. Baker stated that: Reagan “has granted more import relief to U.S. industry than any of his predecessors in more than half a century.”
So, you can see given the situation and these brief examples, Reagan was quick to take action to protect the concept of “Free & Fair Trade”. “Fair” being the operative word there.
When countries like China, manipulate their currency, flood our markets with cheap underpriced goods using cheap labor and following no environmental regulations- the playing field is not level, the United States can not compete “fairly” because when one country is “cheating”- there is such thing as “fair”.
Ronald Reagan was our 40th President of the United States from 1981- 1989. He proclaimed December National Made in America Month about mid- way through his 2 term of Presidency and just months after he had been re-elected for a 2nd term.
What this says to me, looking back on history and this proclamation is that Ronald Reagan felt very strongly that the Governmenthad to take action in “protecting” some of our Nation’s industries or we would be in danger of losing them forever. He wanted to encourage citizens, officials and manufacturers to partake in activities & programs “recognizing and celebrating American Products”. I mean really what a concept? Isn’t that what we are encouraging today?
27 years have passed since this proclamation was first made and my friends, my fellow Americans—this year I once again ask that you recall, rejoice and celebrate –DECEMBER as National Made in America Month!
Start a new tradition and lets see in 2012 more “Made in USA” and “Made in USA Certified” gifts this Holiday Season.
If it was made somewhere else……you need to ask yourself; Do I really need it?
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer stated that: “The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on US made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn’t even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs.”
That is HUGE people. So, lets do this! Together, we really can create U.S. jobs!
God Bless America, God Bless all of you and may your Holiday Season be filled with JOY, HAPPINESS and LOTS of Made in USA goodies!!!!!
President & Co-Founder of Made in USA Certified
Email me your comments & questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org