A new survey has found that most Americans prefer to buy local, U.S.-manufactured products. Released earlier this month by the market research firm Thomas, the Manufacturing Perception Report found that 44.96% of Americans say made-in-America products are of superior quality compared to foreign-made products. In comparison, only 14.02% of Americans believe that made-in-America products are inferior to foreign-made products.
When asked if made-in-America products are the same quality as foreign-made products, about 41% of respondents said, “yes.” Based on these findings, we can surmise that most Americans believe local, U.S.-manufactured products and goods are of superior quality to those manufactured overseas. And with the White House administration’s newfound focus on made-in-America manufacturing, this isn’t a trend that will fade anytime soon.
Thomas’s Manufacturing Perception Report also asked Americans about the importance of the country’s manufacturing sector in regards to its national security. When we rely on foreign-made products, it places our country at a disadvantage. The report specifically found that 50.53% of Americans say that a strong manufacturing sector is “very important” to our country’s national security. In comparison, 36.98% of Americans say it’s “somewhat important,” and only 4.71% say it’s “not important.”
“The state of manufacturing is greater than ever—a trend we can expect to continue with innovation, a strong economy and increased national awareness,” said Thomas President and CEO Tony Uphoff in a statement regarding this report. “The industry as a whole is seeing an encouraging shift toward re-shoring, as rising labor costs in China and advances in factory-floor automation increase the relative benefits of manufacturing here in the U.S.,” Uphoff added.
Of course, there are also challenges facing the American manufacturing industry. According to the Manufacturing Perception Report, tariffs are one of the biggest challenges facing the sector. As the U.S. goes back and forth with tariffs, some manufacturing companies are encountering lower sales and profits. Skills gap is another key challenge facing the American manufacturing industry. There’s currently a lack of skilled manufacturing workers needed to fill certain jobs in the industry.
Even with these challenges, however, both manufacturing companies as well as the general public believe that the country’s manufacturing sector is on the right course. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) monthly reports continue to show strong growth and expansion for the industry. U.S. manufacturers, even amidst the aforementioned challenges, are still creating new jobs while funneling billions of dollars into the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the process.