NEW BALANCE MADE IN THE USA / AMERICAN RENEGADE COLLECTION

New Balance has released the latest Made in the USA theme pack today with the American Renegade Collection. Taking cues from the motorcycles, hot rod cars, leather jackets and the tousled style that defined the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, the look book was shot by Nicholas Maggio and captures imagery that showcases Americana looks and the new collection. Our personal favorite is the grey 996 release.

 

 

 

 

How ‘Made in the USA’ is Making a Comeback

Rana Foroohar Curious Capitalist

By 

The U.S. economy continues to struggle, and the weak March jobs report — just 88,000 positions were added — briefly spooked the market. But step back and you’ll see a bright spot, perhaps the best economic news the U.S. has witnessed since the rise of Silicon Valley: Made in the USA is making a comeback. Climbing out of the recession, the U.S. has seen its manufacturing growth outpace that of other advanced nations, with some 500,000 jobs created in the past three years. It marks the first time in more than a decade that the number of factory jobs has gone up instead of down. From ExOne’s 3-D manufacturing plant near Pittsburgh to Dow Chemical’s expanding ethylene and propylene production in Louisiana and Texas, which could create 35,000 jobs, American workers are busy making things that customers around the world want to buy — and defying the narrative of the nation’s supposedly inevitable manufacturing decline.Time Magazine Made in the USA

The past several months alone have seen some surprising reversals. Apple, famous for the city-size factories in China that produce its gadgets, decided to assemble one of its Mac computer lines in the U.S. Walmart, which pioneered global sourcing to find the lowest-priced goods for customers, said it would pump up spending with American suppliers by $50 billion over the next decade — and save money by doing so (for TIME’s new cover story, written by myself and Bill Saporito, and available to subscribers, click here). And Airbus will build JetBlue’s new jets in Alabama.

Some economists argue that the gains are a natural part of the business cycle, rather than a sustainable recovery in the sector. But I would argue that the improvements of the last three years aren’t a blip. They are the sum of a powerful equation refiguring the global economy. U.S. factories increasingly have access to cheap energy thanks to oil and gas from the shale boom. For companies outside the U.S., it’s the opposite: high global oil prices translate into costlier fuel for ships and planes — which means some labor savings from low-cost plants in China evaporate when the goods are shipped thousands of miles. And about those low-cost plants: workers from China to India are demanding and getting bigger paychecks, while U.S. companies have won massive concessions from unions over the past decade. Suddenly the math on outsourcing doesn’t look quite as attractive. Paul Ashworth, the North America economist for research firm Capital Economics, is willing to go a step further. “The offshoring boom,” Ashworth wrote in a recent report, “does appear to have largely run its course.”

Today’s U.S. factories aren’t the noisy places where your grandfather knocked in four bolts a minute for eight hours a day. Dungarees and lunch pails are out; computer skills and specialized training are in, since the new made-in-America economics is centered largely on cutting-edge technologies. The trick for U.S. companies is to develop new manufacturing techniques ahead of global competitors and then use them to produce goods more efficiently on superautomated factory floors. These factories of the future have more machines and fewer workers — and those workers must be able to master the machines. Many new manufacturing jobs require at least a two-year tech degree to complement artisan skills such as welding or milling. The bar will only get higher: Some experts believe it won’t be too long before employers will expect a four-year degree — a job qualification that will eventually be required in many other places around the world too.

(MORE: Is U.S. Manufacturing Really Back?)

Understanding this new look is critical if the U.S. wants to nurture manufacturing and grow jobs. There are implications for educators (who must ensure that future workers have the right skills) as well as policy-makers (who may have to set new educational standards). “Manufacturing is coming back, but it’s evolving into a very different type of animal than the one most people recognize today,” says James Manyika, a director at McKinsey Global Institute who specializes in global high tech. “We’re going to see new jobs, but nowhere near the number some people expect, especially in the short term.”

Still, if the U.S. can get this right, though, the payoff will be tremendous. Manufacturing represents a whopping 67% of private-sector R&D spending as well as 30% of the country’s productivity growth. Every $1 of manufacturing activity returns $1.48 to the economy. “The ability to make things is fundamental to the ability to innovate things over the long term,” says Willy Shih, a Harvard Business School professor and co-author of Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance. “When you give up making products, you lose a lot of the added value.” In other words, what you make makes you. For more on the rebound in manufacturing and what it means for jobs and economic growth in the US, check out this week’s TIME magazine cover story, “Made In America.”
Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/04/11/how-made-in-the-usa-is-making-a-comeback/#ixzz2QCREv0EC

Source: http://business.time.com/2013/04/11/how-made-in-the-usa-is-making-a-comeback/

Made in the USA: More Consumers Buying American

Chris Rank | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A curious thing is happening among American shoppers. More people are taking a moment to flip over an item or fish for a label and ask, is it “Made in the USA?”

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, earlier this year announced it will boost sourcing of U.S. products by $50 billion during the next 10 years. General Electricis investing $1 billion through 2014 to revitalize its U.S. appliances business and create more than 1,500 U.S. jobs.

Mom-and-pops are also engineering entire business strategies devoted to locally made goods — everything from toys to housewares. And it’s not simply patriotism and desire for perceived safer products which are altering shopping habits.

The recession, and still flat recovery for many Americans, have created a painful realization. All those cheap goods made in China and elsewhere come at a price — lost U.S. manufacturing jobs. A growing pocket of consumers, in fact, are connecting the economic dots between their shopping carts — brimming with foreign-made stuff — and America’s future.

They’re calculating the trade-offs of paying a little more for locally-made goods.“The Great Recession certainly brought that home, and highlighted the fact that so many jobs have been lost,” said James Cerruti, senior partner for strategy and research at consulting firm Brandlogic. “People have become aware of that.”

“‘Made in the USA’ is known for one thing, quality,” said Robert von Goeben, co-founder of California-based Green Toys. All of their products from teething toys to blocks are made domestically and shipped to 75 countries.

Read more of this post

What it Really Means to be Made in the USA

DWM logo

You often hear companies touting their products as Made in America. Recently, DWM magazine looked at the Federal Trade Commission’s “Made in USA” Act which was designed to give the agency “the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin.” But other programs are in place as well to help consumers make informed decisions and this includes, Made in USA Certified®.

Made in USA Certified® is the only registered “Made in USA Certified” Word Mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to the organization.

“When we say it’s ‘Made in USA,’ you can count on it,” says Julie Reiser, president and co-founder.

Any company bearing one of the USA-C™ seals has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to ensure that the product and processes originate in the United States of America.

The designation is an independent certification system that applies proprietary audit criteria consistently across companies, and criteria are checked through the company’s supply chain. “The seal says the company has committed to American jobs and to the American economy,” says Reiser. “Displaying the seal gives consumers the option to visibly support products and services of the USA.”

The Earthwise Group LLC, a national network of locally owned, independent manufacturers of doors and windows, announced that the organization has recently been recognized as “Made in USA Certified.” The organization is the first and only door and window manufacturer to be Made in USA Certified, according to Earthwise.

Why did they do it? “Number one it’s the right thing to do,” says Mark Davis, executive director, the Earthwise Group. “We have to invest in the American economy, American worker and American jobs. If our economy is going to turn around we have to be more sensitive in investing, and that means ingesting in American products.”

He also says the consumer is more willing today to buy American.

“Due to the economic slowdown we feel that the American consumer is more motivated than ever to buy American products,” he adds. “They are beginning again to take pride in American made products and realize the benefits of that …. They have seen the result of ignoring investing in America.”

So why should other companies look at this program?

“The biggest thing I try to do is educate people that the claim of ‘Made in the USA’ is unregulated. There are so many companies just making that claim,” says Reiser. “The only way the consumer really knows is if the company does a supply chain audit .”

It’s completely different to say it than to prove it, she adds.

“It says a lot about a company’s willingness to remain transparent. For companies it’s a powerful branding tool to distinguish among those who may be making false claims,” says Reiser.

She also adds that purchasing dollars are going to support a U.S. manufacturer and create U.S. jobs “which is at the crux of our problems now.”

“One of the things this does for companies is it distinguishes them against those in their industry who may be making a false claim to gain market share,” she says. “If the company has legitimately gone through the process and awarded the seal that puts them head and shoulders above the competition.”

Source: http://www.dwmmag.com/index.php/what-it-really-means-to-be-made-in-the-usa/

Consumer Reports Made in America?

How to know which flag-waving products are true red, white, and blue

Puzzling labelsLaws allow for patriotic symbols, as long as makers identify where a product was made.

Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a new nationally representative survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

More than 80 percent of those people cited retaining manufacturing jobs and keeping American manufacturing strong in the global economy as very important reasons for buying American. About 60 percent cited concern about the use of child workers or other cheap labor overseas, or stated that American-made goods were of higher quality.

And people would pay extra to buy American. More than 60 percent of all respondents indicated they’d buy American-made clothes and appliances even if those cost 10 percent more than imported versions; more than 25 percent said they’d pay at least an extra 20 percent. (Perhaps more surprising: According to a new survey of consumers in the U.S. and abroad by the Boston Consulting Group, more than 60 percent of Chinese respondents said they’d buy the American-made version over the Chinese even if it were to cost more.)

Clearly, most Americans want to know where products are made and want to buy those that will help create or keep jobs in the U.S.—an attempt applauded by economists like Jeff Faux, a distinguished fellow of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C. “Consumers need to understand that all jobs and wages are interconnected,” Faux told us. “When you buy foreign goods—and sometimes there’s no choice—it means that fewer U.S. workers will have the money to buy the goods and services you sell.”

But what does “made in the USA” even mean? And how can you identify what’s made where?

In this special report, we’ll decipher labeling laws and explain why a product that pictures an American flag might be made abroad, identify companies that still make products in the U.S., hear from economists about manufacturing trends, and provide our experts’ assessment of the quality of some American-made apparel.

A guessing game

Photo by: Tooga

Few products except cars, textiles, furs, and woolens are required by law to reveal their American heritage. But when any manufacturer chooses to boast of an American connection, it must comply with federal rules designed to keep consumers from being misled.

Our evidence shows that if not misled, consumers are at least confused. Readers flood Consumer Reports with letters and e-mail seeking explanations as to why, for example, frozen blueberries from Oregon are identified as a product of Chile; why a company named Florida’s Natural sells apple juice with concentrate from Brazil; why pants made in Vietnam are labeled “authentic, active, outdoor, American”; or why a T-shirt with the words “Made in the” above the U.S. flag comes from Mexico.

Though perplexing, such words and pictures don’t usually violate regulations that are issued by the Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for protecting consumers from false or deceptive product claims. The key factors in determining whether a “Made in the USA” claim is deceptive, says FTC senior attorney Laura Koss, are the claim’s context and whether it’s likely to mislead a reasonable consumer. Ultimately, the line between legal and illegal is determined by the overall impression planted in consumers’ minds.

But the line is blurry. Every case is different and subject to interpretation, Koss says. Most of the complaints the FTC receives are initiated by companies that are pointing a finger at competitors they claim are seeking an unfair advantage.

When a company definitely crosses the line, the FTC’s priority is stopping the behavior, not punishment. If a company refuses, it faces civil penalties—in theory. In practice, the FTC has brought only one civil penalty case since the late 1990s, slapping toolmaker Stanley with a $205,000 fine in 2006 to settle charges involving the pedigree of its Zero Degree ratchets. (Stanley claimed that the ratchets were made in America, but the FTC noted that much of their content was foreign.)

Read more of this post

Is Apple Prepping a ‘Made in USA’ Boom?

It could hinge on whether it picks Intel to make more chips for it

Dec 4, 2012, 9:42 am EST  |  By Brad Moon, InvestorPlace Contributor

Two potentially huge Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) items hit the radar in quick succession over the past few days.

First came rumors that the company was in talks with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to replace Samsung as the processor supplier for its mobile devices. Then, as the first shipments of Apple’s new iMac PCs arrived, reports rolled out that at least some of them bore an “Assembled in USA” sticker. CEO Tim Cook rose to prominence at Apple for moving production to China, but could the company be on the verge of a shift back to “Made in America?”

Advertisement

If Intel manages to score the coup of becoming the chip supplier for Apple’s mobile devices, that would be a big story for both Intel and U.S. manufacturing. It was only weeks ago that Apple was supposedly in talks with Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC(NYSE:TSM) about the possibility of replacing Intel CPUs in its PCs with TSMC chips based on ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) architecture.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini (the guy who brought Apple into the Intel fold but failed to break into the mobile market) retires, and all of a sudden Apple and Intel appear to be making up for lost time. With most of Intel’s chip fabrication plants in the U.S. (including factories in Oregon, New Mexico and Arizona), domestic manufacturing would benefit tremendously. Apple sold 43 million iOS devices last quarter alone — that’s a lot of chips.

Then there’s the story of the “Assembled in USA” iMacs that’s burning up the tech sites right now. Some (but not all) of Apple’s latest iMacs have been arriving on doorsteps adorned with the usual “Designed by Apple in California” message. But instead of “Assembled in China,” they’re marked “Assembled in USA.”

The FTC has very specific rules about how to qualify for that label. To comply, Apple has to be doing much more than just screwing bases onto cases. A factory somewhere in the U.S. has to be building these things.

How could you justify assembling a computer in the U.S. if you can pay ridiculously low wages in China? First of all, those low wages aren’t as low as they used to be. According to The Atlantic,they’re five times what they were in 2000 and expected to continue rising at the rate of 18% per year. At the same time, U.S. labor productivity has risen, while U.S. manufacturing wages over the past five years are now back at the level they were in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

Earlier this year, The New York Times did the math and calculated that if Foxconn workers were paid equivalent U.S wages, it would add $65 to the cost of an iPhone. On a $649 device (the price of a base iPhone 4S at the time) with an estimated materials cost of $203, this would require Apple to either hike prices or bite the difference, cutting into its margins significantly.

However, an iMac is much more expensive. The cheapest is $1,299, so a potential uptick in labor costs may be less noticeable. And then there’s its size.

To get a sense of what it must cost Apple to ship one of these all the way from China, I tried an experiment using FedEx‘s (NYSE:FDXshipping calculator to compare the cost of shipping a 1.4-pound box (iPhone) and a 42-pound box (27-inch iMac) from Foxconn in Shenzhen to the FedEx hub in Memphis. The result: $448.732 vs. $2,620.72.

Obviously, Apple isn’t paying anything near the rate Joe Public would, and it also uses other shipping companies. But the point is clear.

Shipping an iMac costs six times what it costs to ship an iPhone. If a worker at Foxconn in China ismaking $2.50 an hour compared to an average U.S. manufacturing wage of $19.15 (a difference of $16.65), so long as an iMac took 3.5 hours or so of labor to assemble, Apple would be breaking even by shifting manufacturing back to the U.S. based on the savings in shipping costs.

That’s all hypothetical. But it shows how plausible it is that under current conditions, Apple might shift production of bigger products from China back home. Plus, Apple was facing limited supply of the new iMacs based on problems at Foxconn, so maybe it’s decided to take matters into its own hands. Perhaps a hit on margins is worth the insurance against a hit on revenue if Foxconn can’t keep up.

It doesn’t hurt that the iMac is a relatively low-volume product (compared to iPads and iPhones) and that Apple already has an assembly facility in Elk Grove, Calif., where it built iMacs until 2004 and once employed 1,500 workers. Apple continues to refurbish iMacs for resale at this site, so it retains some technical and distribution capability. As TechCrunch notes, employment at that facility has jumped 50% this year, suggesting something is up.

While it’s possible that Apple merely messed up on its iMac labeling or that Intel Inside iOS devices is wishful thinking on Intel’s part, it’s also possible that between the company’s flagship PC and its determination to free itself from all vestiges of bitter rival Samsung, Apple is shifting toward “Made in America.” If so, here are a few things to watch for:

  • Without a doubt, Intel shares would surge. The company has been largely shut out of mobile, and gaining Apple’s business — even if it does so under license from ARM — would immediately vault Intel into a market leader. If it inked a mobile deal with Apple, those rumors about Apple seeking to shift its iMacs and MacBooks away from Intel would likely go away as well.
  • Apple’s margins could well take a hit, and even a small decrease could spook investors. Still, computers make up less than a quarter of Apple’s total revenue (and iMacs are a small subset of that), so the actual bottom-line impact of assembling PCs in the U.S. would likely be minimal and may well be offset by “Made in America” goodwill among domestic consumers.
  • Shipping companies could actually take a hit from any loss of Apple business. During the iPad 3 launch, for example, it was reported that Apple’s massive shipments form China (at premium rates) boosted the price DHL charged customers for international shipments by 20%. A steady stream of Apple shipments come from China to the U.S., and the vast majority (if not all) is by air.

At the time of writing, Apple hadn’t officially commented on either the “Assembled in USA” iMacs or the Intel talks. Expect all eyes to be on Cupertino for Cook’s response to both. In the meantime, the search is already on for a way to identify the U.S.-assembled iMacs while still in the box, so that consumers can choose them — and send Apple the message that they prefer to buy American.

As of this writing, Brad Moon from http://www.investorplace.com didn’t own any securities mentioned here.

Made in USA Certified:  www.USA-C.com

Made in the U.S.A. Bucking a 30-year Trend

Jeremy Quittner | Inc.com

For Lumitec, a lighting product company in Delray Beach, Florida, manufacturing in the U.S. is essential, but so is exporting to clients overseas.

Lumitec’s products, which are designed for extreme environments, require exact specifications that need frequent product monitoring. So the lag time to make changes typically associated with manufacturing thousands of miles away in China is not an option. To accommodate these needs, Lumitec’s headquarters are in a 10,000-square foot facility that can handle the customization and assembly that clients require.

Lumitec is like an increasing number of small companies that are manufacturing in the United States, and bucking a 30-year trend of outsourcing such production overseas.

These companies find increased control, quality, and production standards domestically that may cancel out the cost savings that could come with manufacturing overseas. They are also turning the table on recent history in other ways, by exploiting sales in international markets, and uncovering opportunities by selling their goods to other countries in addition to domestically. They find the ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ stamp brings them unexpected cachet.

“We attend trade shows outside of the U.S. and people are always pleasantly surprised that we manufacture in the U.S.,” says John Kujawa, chief executive of Lumitec, which exports its lighting products to more than 30 countries. “it is understood that many products manufactured in the U.S. are greater quality than those from certain other countries.”

John Kujawa founded Delray Beach, FL – based Lumitec Inc.

Manufacturing businesses have added 500,000 jobs in the United States since 2009, though the sector has a lot of ground to make up, having lost 2.3 million jobs since the start of the recession. States that led the way were Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, and Illinois, which combined added a quarter of a million of those jobs over the same period.

Read more of this post

“Made In USA” Labeling Influences Purchases

 

The vast majority of U.S. shoppers who notice a packaging claim that a product is “Made in the USA” are more likely to purchase that item, a new survey from firm Perception Research Services International (PRS) shows. According to PRS data, about 80% of U.S. consumers recognize “Made in the USA” labeling and 76% say that designation positively influences their eventual purchasing decisions.

“Whether it is for quality assurance, to boost the economy, or out of patriotism, buying American-made products is becoming quite fashionable among U.S. shoppers,” says Jonathan Asher, executive vice president of PRS. “Particularly for products that are ingested such as food, beverages and medicines – if you make it here, make that clear – that is, include a ‘Made in the USA’ mention on your package so that shoppers are aware of that fact.”

While U.S. shoppers value American-made products, PRS data shows they have generally negative feelings toward items that are labeled as “Made in China.” In fact, about 57% say they are less likely to purchase products that are manufactured in the Asian country, mostly because of quality and safety concerns. Even Chinese consumers don’t view “Made in China” products with great enthusiasm – just 58% are positively influenced by that labeling claim, PRS found.

Among age groups, shoppers that are over 35 years old are both the most likely to be positively influenced by “Made in the USA” claims and most likely to be negatively influenced by “Made in China” claims. Researchers aren’t quite sure why young shoppers are less influenced by a product’s country of origin, although they cite cost as a possible factor. Overall, considering all respondents, shoppers who view “Made in China” products positively do so because the items are less expensive, researchers say.

Made in USA Certified® Launches US Jobs Project™ Initiative

BOCA RATON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Made in USA Certified® has partnered with US manufacturers to rally for US jobs and US manufacturing with a tour across America in a red, white & blue, star spangled bus. The US Jobs Project™ launches in patriotic fashion this July 3rd – July 7th, Independence Day week.

The main goals of the US Jobs Project™ are: 1) Promote US manufacturing and the critical role domestic manufacturing plays in the creation of sustainable US jobs 2) The important role consumers play in the creation of jobs by supporting products Made in USA.

“This project is fueled by the idea that Americans helping Americans can truly create sustainable jobs and jumpstart our economy. We believe that together, we create jobs in the USA,” Julie Reiser, President and Co-Founder of Made in USA Certified® said.

The US Job Project™ tour will officially kick off on July 3rd & 4th in Delray Beach, Florida for the Independence Day Extravaganza. There will be product giveaways, fan photo fun and supporters can register for the “Great American Giveaway” contest, where participants can enter to win a custom designed Gibson guitar.

After the July 4th fireworks celebration the bus will head to Daytona, Florida for the NASCAR, Subway Jalapeno 250, Coke Zero 400 races and a concert by double Platinum recording band, TRAIN at the Daytona International Speedway on July 6th & 7th.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: