Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show Oct. 30 – Nov 3, 2014 – host 55th Annual

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Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the “Yachting Capital of the World” will host the 55th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 30-Nov 3, 2014. Show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts. A wide variety of boats and sea vessels will be on display including runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and extraordinary superyachts.

Covering six locations and over 3 million square feet of space, the show’s transportation network of bus shuttles, water taxis, and riverboats ensures attendees can easily navigate the boat show and its expansive waterways system.

 

Scientists trace deadly piglet virus hitting US farms to China

Baby_Pigs_Suckling_4

Published October 23, 2013

Reuters

A virus deadly to baby pigs that has roiled the U.S. pork industry likely originated in the Anhui Province of China and may have evolved from a virus seen in bats, according to a report by veterinary researchers at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

The report should help diagnostic researchers and federal officials, who have been trying to trace the origin of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) since it was first identified in the United States this past spring.

Previously, investigators and veterinary researchers tracking the outbreak said that there was some indication that the PEDv strain seen in the U.S. was 99.5 percent similar in genetic make-up to that identified in China. But exactly where it came from and how it arrived in the United States were mysteries.

According to the report published last week in the American Academy of Microbiology journal mBio, the researchers extracted strains of PEDv virus from infected animals in Minnesota and Iowa.

They then compared the genetic code of the virus in these samples to PEDv samples isolated in China’s Anhui province during an outbreak that began in late 2010. The results showed that the three strains that have emerged in the United States are most closely related to particular Chinese strains.

“Taken together, the available sequence and phylogenetic data indicate that the PEDV strains emerging in the United States originated from China,” according to the published report.

The researchers cautioned that “the exact source of the origin is difficult to identify at this point.”

Veterinary researchers and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say that PEDv does not pose a threat to human health, nor to food safety.

While, there has been no indication that PEDv could jump from one species to another, the research team said it found the U.S. PEDv strains to have some of the same genetic features seen in a bat coronavirus. That, in turn, suggests the virus may have possibly having originated in bats and a potential for “cross-species transmission,” according to the report.

There is no definitive data yet of how many animals have died in the United States from PEDv as farmers are not required to report PEDv outbreaks.

As of the week of October 6, there have been 768 confirmed cases reported in 18 states, according to data compiled by state university diagnostic laboratories and federal officials. Each reported case could represent thousands of infected animals.

Diagnostic veterinarians, producers and some livestock economists said they expected the virus to spread more rapidly as temperatures cool in the fall when piglets are being born. The virus is particularly deadly to very young pigs: average mortality rates range from 80 to 100 percent.

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John Ratzenberger’s American Made TV Show Kicks off Campaign in FundAnything

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 21, 2013

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger (best known for playing the mailman Cliff Clavin on Cheers) is launching a crowd source campaign today with FundAnything for his brand new television series, ‘John Ratzenberger’s American Made.’

A video release on the show and campaign is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zb1qd1oThk

“From the things we need, to the things we want, to the things we dream about— we’re going to show you the best of our country’s home grown products,” says Ratzenberger. “But more importantly, we’ll highlight the remarkable men and women who use their skills and ingenuity to create goods they can proudly call made in the USA.”

The show will also empower viewers with a direct and easy path on where to buy the products profiled. The series will be produced with RealityTVStar.com, which Ratzenberger co-founded.

“We chose to crowd fund the initial few episodes for strategic reasons,” said RealityTVStar.com CEO, Jeffrey Solomon. “Crowd funding is an excellent way to mobilize fans and promote our American made corporate partners before the show launches. It’s also an excellent way to allow the public to be a part of the show before its release on TV.”

Crowd funding has grown into an extremely successful method to fund creative projects without the bureaucracy of corporate mandates. Ratzenberger’s campaign will give donors a chance to be on the show; join John at a VIP events; receive products profiled, and many more opportunities only available to donors. He has already signed on 30+ American-made companies and industry groups.

Those interested in participating in John’s FundAnything campaign can visit http://www.Fundanything.com/americanmade for more details. Individuals can also see these companies/industry groups on the TV series Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/americanmadewithjohn.

Ratzenberger’s career includes 40 feature films and dozens of television shows including the highly successful ‘John Ratzenberger’s Made in America,’ which ran 5 seasons on the Travel Channel from 2004 to 2008. John is currently a regular on FX’s ‘Legit,’ and has recently appeared on Fox’s ‘Bones,’ CBS’s ‘CSI,’ Lifetime’s ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ and TNT’s ‘Franklin & Bash.’ He is also in production for the newest Pixar film ‘Inside Out.’

About Reality TV Star
RealityTVStar.com is a reality TV production company that uses technology to improve the process of developing, casting and producing reality TV shows. RealityTVStar.com offers fans the ability to upload “slice of life,” casting, and “home” video clips, for the chance to be discovered by the RealityTVStar.com team of producers.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11247624.htm

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Walmart’s ‘Made in America’ push: From offshoring to onshoring

Reuters | Updated On: September 25, 2013 14:12 (IST)

Walmart image

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, whose focus on low-cost sourcing helped to fuel the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing, has been promoting a patriotic new image in recent months.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company says it is “leading an American renewal in manufacturing” and “bringing jobs back to the U.S.” with its pledge made in January to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next 10 years.

But an examination of the company’s “Made in America” campaign suggests Walmart’s caught on to a reshoring phenomenon that was already underway.

In many cases, Walmart’s suppliers had already decided to produce in the United States, as rising wages in China and other emerging economies, along with increased labor productivity and flexibility back home, eroded the allure of offshore production.

Though wrapped in the stars and stripes, the world’s largest retailer’s push to bring jobs back to the United States also makes business sense both for suppliers and retailers.

Some manufacturers are finding they can profitably produce certain goods at home that they once made offshore. And retailers like Walmart benefit from being able to buy those goods closer to distribution centers and stores with lower shipping costs, while gaining goodwill by selling more U.S.-made products.

“This is not a public relations effort. This is an economic, financial, mathematical-driven effort. The economics are substantially different than they were in the 80s and 90s,” Bill Simon, chief executive of the Walmart U.S. chain, told the Reuters Global Consumer and Retail Summit earlier this month.

The initiative is modest for now. For a company with $466.1 billion in annual sales, an additional $50 billion of spending over a decade will barely register. Also, the main Walmart U.S. unit sells mostly groceries and already procures two-thirds of its goods – including a lot of food – from U.S. sources.

Walmart’s high-profile commitment is, though, an important symbolic shift. A retailer that for decades has prompted hundreds of U.S. companies to move production overseas, thanks to its relentless insistence on cost-cutting, now is urging at least some production back. It will even offer longer-term purchasing guidance to some companies to encourage them.

Hampton Products International did not need Walmart to tell it about the changing cost structure of global commerce. Hampton, which supplies locks and door hardware to retailers including Wal-Mart, began “resurrecting manufacturing” at its Wisconsin plant back in 2008, said CEO H. Kim Kelley.

Walmart’s push this year served mainly to speed its business decision, Kelley said. “We moved much more quickly and aggressively to ramp manufacturing to meet Walmart’s timetable,” he said.

But ultimately, Hampton’s decision to manufacture some products back in the United States was driven by simple but compelling math, Kelley said. Take the example of a door hardware part that Kelley declined – citing competitive issues – to define more precisely than that.

Over the past six years, the price of producing the part in China has risen 24 per cent to $2.20 from $1.77, because of the Chinese currency’s appreciation and increased labor costs. Throw in transport costs and U.S. tariffs, and that product, delivered to the United States today, would cost about $2.53, Kelley said.

By moving production back to the United States, Hampton can make the part today for just $2.16, a nearly 15 per cent saving even including the amortized investment in its new U.S. plant. In addition, Hampton has reduced inventory sitting idle on a ship or in finished goods in its distribution centers.

Relocating production to the United States also yields a number of soft but important benefits, Kelley said. These include better control of the manufacturing process, an ability to respond swiftly to customers, and a much smaller impact on the environment as the U.S. plant uses less energy than its Chinese counterpart and is 7,500 miles closer to where the product is sold.

“The benefits are obvious,” said Kelley. “We cut our costs, improve our sustainability, reduce the cost of finished goods inventory and create U.S. jobs.”

Commitments help some suppliers

Walmart’s push is aimed at product categories that have been difficult to produce at a cost advantage in the United States for some time. The retailer plans to sell everything from General Electric Co light bulbs made in Ohio and Illinois to Element Electronics Corp televisions that will be assembled in South Carolina.

The latest company to sign on is Korona S.A., a Polish candlemaker that will produce Walmart U.S.’s Mainstays tea light candles in Virginia, a move that Walmart said took more than a year to put together.

Walmart still declines to sign long-term contracts with suppliers, but its market power is so immense that companies will sometimes make investments based on expected demand from the retailer. Also, Walmart has helped some suppliers make contact with state economic development officials who can offer tax breaks or other incentives.

Renfro Corp began ramping up U.S. sock production two years ago, said CEO Bud Kilby, sinking more than $10 million into two factories in Tennessee and Alabama and hiring nearly 250 new workers. It is ready to do more now that Walmart has asked Renfro to further expand its U.S. capacity.

Walmart has not given Renfro firm orders associated with the request, but the sock maker is set to invest at least another $10 million and create another 195 jobs, Kilby said.

“We trust them,” Kilby said. “They asked us to do it and they made a commitment to support it and to buy product. But there is no contractual agreement – no purchase orders or anything like that.”

Walmart’s U.S. manufacturing summit in Orlando, Florida in August featured speakers such as Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and GE CEO Jeff Immelt. The meeting gave hundreds of suppliers the chance to meet with governors or economic development officials from 34 states, as well as two banks and one private equity firm.

“We can provide the certainty to the people who invest capital, to make it worthwhile,” said Simon, the Walmart U.S. CEO.

Walmart sometimes makes what it calls “multi-year commitments” based on financial data suppliers share.

“It really depends on what they need and how much of their capital expense and their strategic plan they’re willing to share,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Walmart U.S.’s home business and a leading executive on the retailer’s Made-in-America commitment.

When 1888 Mills LLC came to Wal-Mart in 2012, it projected that the cost of making towels in the United States was coming closer to the cost of overseas production. The textiles company felt it could order new machinery to help it reduce the cost differential, but only if it had a multi-year commitment from Walmart, Gloeckler recalled.

Walmart crunched the numbers and agreed to carry 1888 Mills’ “Made Here” towels for an undisclosed number of years. It also agreed to stock 600 stores at first and then add more as production increased, a staged rollout unusual for the chain.

The “Made Here” towels are selling 30 percent better than those they replaced on the shelf that were made outside the United States by another supplier, Gloeckler said.

“Not an aggressive target”

Management consultants began highlighting the benefits of U.S. manufacturing years ago.

With wages rising elsewhere and U.S. energy costs on the decline, the United States can be a competitive manufacturing hub again, says Hal Sirkin, a senior partner of the Boston Consulting Group and co-author of the book “Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything” who spoke at Walmart’s summit.

“We are seeing a lot of products now that have already reached the point where it is already cheaper to manufacture it and deliver it in the United States than to have it made in China and have it shipped across and pay tariffs and duties,” he said.

It costs slightly more to make a vacuum cleaner in China than in the United States when you add up the cost of labor, buying components and raw materials, overhead, energy costs, shipping and “soft costs” such as managing inventory, he said.

Labor costs are typically about 20 to 25 per cent of the total cost of a product. For categories like clothing, that require more manual work, production is likely to stay in countries with lower wages, Sirkin said.

Manufacturing experts largely welcome Walmart’s commitment to purchase U.S. goods, though the size of its pledge has not impressed them.

“It’s not an aggressive target,” said Thomas Duesterberg, executive director of the Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century project at the Aspen Institute.

Walmart says that $50 billion is just a starting point.

The retailer’s effort matters regardless of the size, said Suzanne Berger, a professor and manufacturing expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “A Walmart decision, however minimal or cosmetic, is a powerful signal,” she said.

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The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History

BusinessWeek

By Susan Berfield | BusinessWeek – Mon, Sep 23, 2013 1:14 PM EDT

Honey

Magnus von Buddenbrock and Stefanie Giesselbach arrived in Chicago in 2006 full of hope. He was 30, she was 28, and they had both won their first overseas assignments at ALW Food Group, a family-owned food-trading company based in Hamburg. Von Buddenbrock had joined ALW—the initials stand for its founder, Alfred L. Wolff—four years earlier after earning a degree in marketing and international business, and he was expert in the buying and selling of gum arabic, a key ingredient in candy and soft drinks. Giesselbach had started at ALW as a 19-year-old apprentice. She worked hard, learned quickly, spoke five languages, and within three years had become the company’s first female product manager. Her specialty was honey. When the two colleagues began their new jobs in a small fourth-floor office a few blocks from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, ALW’s business was growing, and all they saw was opportunity.

On March 24, 2008, von Buddenbrock came to the office around 8:30 a.m., as usual. He was expecting a quiet day: It was a holiday in Germany, and his bosses there had the day off. Giesselbach was on holiday, too; she had returned to Germany to visit her family and boyfriend. Sometime around 10 a.m., von Buddenbrock heard a commotion in the reception area and went to have a look. A half-dozen armed federal agents, all wearing bulletproof vests, had stormed in. “They made a good show, coming in with full force,” he recalls. “It was pretty scary.”

The agents asked if anybody was hiding anywhere, then separated von Buddenbrock and his assistant, the only two employees there. Agents brought von Buddenbrock into a conference room, where they questioned him about ALW’s honey business. After a couple of hours they left, taking with them stacks of paper files, copies of computer hard drives, and samples of honey.

Giesselbach returned from Germany three days later. Her flight was about to land at O’Hare when the crew announced that everyone would have to show their passports at the gate. As Giesselbach walked off the plane, federal agents pulled her aside. She, too, answered their questions about ALW’s honey shipments. After an hour, they let her leave. The agents, from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security, had begun to uncover a plot by ALW to import millions of pounds of cheap honey from China by disguising its origins.

Americans consume more honey than anyone else in the world, nearly 400 million pounds every year. About half of that is used by food companies in cereals, bread, cookies, and all sorts of other processed food. Some 60 percent of the honey is imported from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and other trading partners. Almost none comes from China. After U.S. beekeepers accused Chinese companies of selling their honey at artificially low prices, the government imposed import duties in 2001 that as much as tripled the price of Chinese honey. Since then, little enters from China legally.

Von Buddenbrock and Giesselbach continued to cooperate with the investigators, according to court documents. In September 2010, though, the junior executives were formally accused of helping ALW perpetuate a sprawling $80 million food fraud, the largest in U.S. history. Andrew Boutros, assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, had put together the case: Eight other ALW executives, including Alexander Wolff, the chief executive officer, and a Chinese honey broker, were indicted on charges alleging a global conspiracy to illegally import Chinese honey going back to 2002. Most of the accused executives live in Germany and, for now, remain beyond the reach of the U.S. justice system. They are on Interpol’s list of wanted people. U.S. lawyers for ALW declined to comment.

In the spring of 2006, as Giesselbach, who declined requests for an interview, was preparing for her job in Chicago, she started receiving e-mail updates about various shipments of honey moving through ports around the world. According to court documents, one on May 3 was titled “Loesungmoeglichkeiten,” or “Solution possibilities.” During a rare inspection, U.S. customs agents had become suspicious about six shipping containers of honey headed for ALW’s customers. The honey came from China but had been labeled Korean White Honey.

From China, The Future of Fish

Meet the Chinese tilapia, a bland food product that grows fast and sells cheap. Environmentalists hate it, but Americans keep ordering more.

By Bruce Einhorn

(Fixes reference to U.S. food-service market in the 27th paragraph.)

At the end of a wooden pier, a squat red machine the size of a dishwasher hums along with the din of nearby cicadas. The fish-feeder is tossing grain pellets into one of Chen Haiping’s nine fish ponds, each as long as a football field, in the town of Shuixi, in China’s Guangdong province. It’s breakfast time, and thousands of tilapia are thrashing their tails and sticking their mouths into the air to get some of the soy-and-corn mixture. Chen, a 32-year-old former duck farmer with a wispy mustache, has been running this farm for eight years.

Before the tilapia, these ponds were filled with shrimp, which the Chinese like. They aren’t big fans of tilapia, a foreign fish; the name in Chinese,luofeiyu, refers to tilapia’s origins in Africa. It doesn’t have much flavor, and it doesn’t grow big enough to put in the middle of the table at a family meal. Americans, however, can’t get enough of Chinese-raised tilapia, so tilapia it is. The fish, Chen notes, are hardier and don’t require as much work. “Shrimp can die much more easily,” says Chen, who wears a wide-brimmed straw hat to protect himself from the 95-degree heat.

Despite environmental warnings about Chinese-raised tilapia from watchdog groups such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which publishes an influential best choices/avoid list of seafood and rates Chinese-raised tilapia as “avoid,” U.S. consumption keeps rising. In 2009 the U.S. imported 404 million pounds of tilapia, up from 298 million in 2005. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) imports nearly 200 shipping containers, or 8.8 million pounds, every month, although they will not say how much comes from China. (The company declined to comment.) Domestic fish farmers can’t come close to meeting demand. Although there are tilapia farms in the U.S., the fish does better in tropical climates, so most of it comes from Asia or Latin America.

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The dangers of farm-raised tilapia from China

Talipia
BY DR. MICHAEL L. SMITH
COMMENTARY Appeared originally on Studio V Health WordPress

As a proponent of healthy eating and educating the public on sound evidence based research, I find it very alarming that there is a significant trend in this country whereby many people accept as fact, “the foods that we import that are so abundant in our supermarkets must be okay to eat, otherwise the government wouldn’t allow it”. Sound strange?

Well, I heard one of my patients say this to me just the other day when we were having a discussion about the pros and cons of eating fish as a regular source of protein in our diets. Let me introduce to you, what has become extremely popular on the average Americans dinner table over the past few years and that is tilapia. You’ve seen it, perhaps have eaten it at home or even in your local restaurant. In fact, it’s become so popular that Kevin Fitzsimmons, a professor at the University of Arizona and board member of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, that sells Chinese farm-raised tilapia was recently quoted, “Tilapia is going to be basically where chicken is with poultry”.

The U.S. currently imports about 80 percent of the frozen tilapia from China. So what’s the problem with this scenario?

Consumers need to be made more aware of the problems with eating tilapia that is imported from this world’s largest producer of the farm raised variety. Numerous environmental warnings about Chinese-raised tilapia from such groups as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch have put this fish on their “avoid’ list of seafoods, this despite the fact that the U.S. has increased it’s imports every year from 2005 on. Many of the farm raised tilapia are grown in the notoriously polluted areas of China’s Guangdong province.

Recently, the U.S. Agriculture Dept.’s Economic Research Service raised questions about Chinese safety standards for farm-raised fish. The report mentioned, “Fish are often raised in ponds where they feed on waste runoff from poultry and livestock”. It has also been noted that Chinese farmers save money on the cost of raising these fish by dumping animal wastes into the ponds which cause algae to grow and serve as their food source. And don’t forget all of the problems with many other products made in China- toys with lead and toothpastes found to contain diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical. Even more alarming is the usage of carbon monoxide which preserves the color of the fish and can make the fish appear fresher than it is! If you read the label of many brands, the only two ingredients listed are “Tilapia” and Carbon Monoxide (To Retain Natural Color)”.

From a nutritional standpoint, tilapia fails miserably when stacked against salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and other marine sources of the omega-3 oils which have been shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, stroke, inflammation, and brain health. Tilapia’s flesh doesn’t contain any. And the reason? If the producers used sources of omega-3 enriched meal to feed the tilapia to make them more of a viable healthy food source, the price would increase and that unfortunately is one of the reasons why this fish has become an American dietary staple. So it always comes down to the idea of how much of a price do you pay for eating unhealthy foods to save some money in the long run.

In my office we have a saying, “If you don’t take time for your HEALTH, then you will have to take time for your illness”. Educate yourself by becoming a label reader and asking the question: “Is this really good to put in my body?” and if you can’t pronounce an ingredient and the number of ingredients are many, it’s probably best to avoid.

Strive to be healthier!

Dr. Michael L. Smith specializes in functional medicine, nutrition and chiropractic healthcare

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Pushing America’s Reset Button

 

Buick

 

By Original post on Huffington Post

I want the world to go back to Default and be as it once was, when Congress and the Supreme Court were admired and respected, no politician would publicly criticize the U.S. while overseas, and everybody knew that Hawaii was a state. That was when “Made in China” on the bottom of a teacup was thrilling, Persia was a far-away place of mystery and intrigue (ever heard of an Iranian rug?), and Made in America meant the product might even outlast the buyer.

Default U.S.A. was when news stories were triple checked before they were published, congressmen were satisfied with having a bridge named after them, and Supreme Court Justices applied common sense instead of politics to the laws of the land. Believe it or not, citizens were enthusiastically encouraged to vote, not discouraged by political henchbullies.

True, there was the occasional corrupt representative like Boss Tweed, but at least he kept his johnson in his jeans. Besides, we threw them out, unlike today where we reelect them even though they are insufficiently cool. Without a reset button, we’ll continue to allow media fear-mongering, greedy lobbyists, and lies, lies, lies everywhere. We can no longer believe what we read, we can’t believe photos, and I’m not sure we can believe what we’re actually seeing. We’ll continue to applaud athletes who’d never make the big time without dope, decisions handed down by Supreme Court that seem anti-American, guns blasting innocent people, power-hungry moguls gobbling up our government, and news cycles that loop the same story until you go into a boredom-induced coma. Compared to today’s scary shenanigans where our politicians are either rabid rabbits or Hannible Lecter, even Tammany Hall comes off like Mother Theresa.

What if these are the good old days?

So o.k, maybe, in self-defense, it’s time to limit “news” to my own home where I know the information is accurate. The cable went out, the Sprinkler System’s on strike, my new laptop is dyslexic and “Save” means “Delete,” and my printer passed away yesterday. When household appliances and cars were made in the U.S.A., you died before they did.

When even that turned out to be depressing, I just gave up and shrank into my own head to ponder things like these:

*Why did they stop making ’38 Buicks?

*Why are they called Flemish painters when there’s no country named Flem?

*Did Adam really even like the nagging Eve?

*Why do insurance companies advertise how little their policies cost, yet never say if they pay your claim?

*Why don’t schools teach how stupid Custer really was?

*Why do we have studies like the Nobel-Prize-winning one that discovered dog fleas jump higher than cat fleas? Another study finds that not sleeping well makes you look tired the next day. Really???

*There’s nothing common about it so why isn’t it called rare sense?

*Why does it mean that your TV is off when the light is on, and on when the light is off?

*Why did they mess with our tomatoes until they taste like the mouthpiece of a public telephone?

*Does the phrase, “guaranteed pre-owned” mean they can prove the used car on their lot was definitely used?

*Why do fashion models look like a tuning fork?

I was pondering these questions while stopped at a red light. An avid reader, I noticed the bumper sticker of the car in front. It said: “Jesus is coming. Look busy.” I got a big smile out of that. Then I looked up and saw a pair of sneakers that someone had hurled onto the telephone wires.

For just a moment or two, someone up there pushed America’s reset button, and life is good again.

###

Follow Maggie Van Ostrand on Twitter: www.twitter.com/magpie99

 

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“Buying American” Generally Matters More to Women Than Men

Harris Importance of Buying American March 2013 woman

A majority of American adults believe that it is important to “buy American” across a variety of product types, according to results from a Harris Interactive survey, even if the definition of what constitutes an “American” product is not universally shared by respondents. Interestingly, while there were few gaps in the importance placed on “buying American” among Republicans and Democrats responding to the survey, women were more likely than men to feel it more important for each product category identified.

For example, women were:

  • 11% more likely to consider “buying American” important when purchasing major appliances (79% vs. 71%);
  • 10% more likely to consider it important for furniture purchases (78% vs. 71%);
  • 15% more likely to place importance on this factor when buying clothing (77% vs. 67%);
  • 14% more likely to find it important for car purchases (74% vs. 65%); and
  • 20% more likely to consider it important when buying home electronics (72% vs. 60%).

On each count, 18-35-year-olds were significantly less likely than any other generation to believe that “buying American” is important to them.

The survey finds that the definition of what constitutes “buying American” isn’t universally agreed upon. Three-quarters agree that a product needs to be manufactured within the US for them to consider it “American,” while a slight majority believe that it needs to be made by an American company for them to consider it “American.” Close behind, 47% agree that a product needs to be made from parts produced in the US for them to consider it “American.”

As the researchers note, the company perceived by respondents to be the most “American” – Ford – increasingly has cars which include parts produced abroad. Other companies showing up in the most “American” list – such as GE and Levi Strauss – also outsource some of their operations overseas.

Regardless of the extent to which these companies’ products meet consumer definitions, “Made in America” packaging can influence consumers. A study released last year by Perception Research Services found that about 8 in 10 shoppers notice “Made in the USA” claims in packaging, and about three-quarters of those believe that such claims make them more likely to buy the product.

According to the Harris survey results, the most commonly-cited important reasons for “buying American” are to keep jobs in America (90%), to support American companies (87%), and due to quality (83%) and safety (82%) concerns with products assembled outside of the US.

About the Data: The Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 12 and 18, 2012 among 2,176 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

Data for the “What company do you consider to be most ‘American’” question was conducted online within the United States between January 2 and 4, 2012 among 2,126 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

Source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/topics/automotive/buying-american-generally-matters-more-to-women-than-men-27559

 

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Made in USA makes comeback as a marketing tool

usatoday logo

Oliver St. John, USA TODAY10:11p.m. EST January 21, 2013

It’s becoming downright American to make stuff in America.

Small manufacturers, craftsmen and retailers are marketing the Made-in-USA tag to score do-gooder points with consumers for employing stateside, says Margarita Mendoza, founder of the Made in America Movement, a lobbying organization for small manufacturers.

It’s working: Over 80% of Americans are willing to pay more for Made-in-USA products, 93% of whom say it’s because they want to keep jobs in the USA, according to a survey released in November by Boston Consulting Group. In ultra-partisan times, it’s one of the few issues both Democrats and Republicans agree on.

When considering similar products made in the U.S. vs. China, the average American is willing to pay up to 60% more for U.S.-made wooden baby toys, 30% more for U.S.-made mobile phones and 19% more for U.S.-made gas ranges, the survey says.

Now Wal-Mart wants a piece of the action. The behemoth, embroiled over the past year with worker protests and foreign bribery investigations, pledged recently to source $50 billion of products in the U.S. over the next 10 years, says Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove. They’re not alone. Mendoza says both Caterpillar and 3M have also made efforts to source more in the U.S.

“Regardless if this is a PR ploy or not, it doesn’t matter. A lot more people will look for the Made-in-USA tag,” she says, adding that, considering Wal-Mart’s size, $5 billion a year is only “a drop in the bucket,” for the retailer whose 2012 sales reached almost $444 billion.

Kyle Rancourt says his American-made shoe company, Rancourt & Co., hit it big as concern over U.S. jobs mounted when the recession hit in 2009. But he says he lies awake at night worrying if Made-in-USA is just a passing fad.

“It’s inevitable that times will change,” Rancourt says. “But I am still holding out hope that this has become a core value of our country.”

Mendoza says that if buying American turns out to be a passing fad, the country is in trouble.

“If they don’t understand the economic factor, we need to pull on their heartstrings,” she says. “The thought of having a country like China taking over, that alone is bone-chilling.”

But do folks care enough about U.S. manufacturing jobs to permanently change the way they shop? David Aaker, vice chairman of brand consulting firm Prophet, says the companies that get the most credit for being American, such as Apple and Cisco, don’t even source products in the U.S.

“I don’t think it matters unless it becomes visible,” Aaker says. “The most common way for that is if something bad happens, like if Nike gets some press about conditions in factories overseas.”

But Rancourt says his customers believe foreign-made shoes lack the soul of their American counterparts.

“There’s hundreds if not thousands of workers working on those factories. They do one specific job, maybe put an eyelet into a specific place,” he says. “They don’t have an idea or concept of a finished product and how that should look.”

 

Just watch out for phony Made-in-USA claims. It’s illegal to claim a product is U.S.-made unless both the product and all it’s components are sourced in the U.S. Even products that could imply a phony country of origin with a flag or country outline are verboten. Julia Solomon Ensor, enforcement lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission, says the FTC gets “several complaints each month about potentially deceptive ‘Made-in-the-USA’ claims.”

It sets a bad example. Mendoza says the U.S. needs to let kids know it’s OK to work in manufacturing. “Not all children are going to grow up to be dentists, and lawyers, and investment bankers.”

 

 

 

Source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/01/21/made-in-usa-trend/1785539/

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