By: John Quincy Adams, IV – Direct grandson descendent of our nations 2nd President, John Adams, and of our 6th President John Quincy Adams.
It almost seems a cliché these days to say “buy American,” but the truth is, it’s not easy. Finding products of US origin, or products fully assembled in the US, can be a challenge. But, it’s not completely impossible.
My great-great-grandfather, President John Quincy Adams, once said, “Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone.” I don’t think it was “we the people” that got off-balance on principle; I think it was the manufacturer who went too far with the American dream. Wanting to cut more and more costs to undercut the competition only causes the competition to cut more and more as well. Eventually, in order to get the cost of manufacturing down below one’s competition, it becomes necessary to go to another country where labor and materials are cheap and principle doesn’t matter.
The manufacturer feels stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t out source to another country to reduce their costs, they wouldn’t be able to sell their product. Not selling products means going out of business. When it comes to packaging the product, the words “Made In China” (or another country) are often hidden somewhere on the back of the box and difficult to find. I think manufacturers are embarrassed, and maybe even have a touch of guilt. How often do we see “Made In Japan” and that country’s flag on the front of products we buy in America? Not often, if ever, unless it is a specialty product in a gourmet food shop.
Why is it that manufacturers in the US put our country’s very recognizable patriotic symbol on the front of product packaging and proudly print the words “Made In USA”? It’s because they are honored to do the right thing and don’t falter on principle.
I think somewhere along the line “The American Dream” turned into American greed. Had there been balanced free trade with provisions that looked out for the
American people, maybe our economy wouldn’t have taken such a hit. It’s never too late for change, however.
I may sound like I am, but I’m not into politics yet. Hold your horses! I’m currently the National Account Representative for Gutterglove, Inc., a gutter guard manufacturer that is completing its final phase of transitioning manufacturing from China to the US, and what a challenge it has been.
Working for Gutterglove has really opened my eyes. As the account rep, I talk with many contractors throughout the nation who are looking for a gutter protection system to sell to their clients. One question that often comes up is, “Are you made in America?” In 2011, I had to say “China,” but now in 2012, I can say the “US.” I get the impression from these contractors that they truly want to help our country by buying American. I’m glad we now have that available.
I also saw much more confidence in our dealer base throughout North America. My boss, CEO, and Gutterglove founder Robert Lenney, jumped through a lot of hoops to make this transition possible.
“Manufacturers are so used to making their products overseas, they don’t think about coming back to the US for manufacturing anymore. They think it’s too expensive,” says Robert Lenny.
“I’m now manufacturing my Gutterglove gutter guard in the US, and surprisingly the pricing is competitive to other countries. I’m proud to put my ‘Made In USA’ sticker on the product packaging,” Lenney adds.
This move has created more jobs and if we keep it up, the ripple effect will eventually infuse millions of dollars back into our own economy. By investing in ourselves, we are investing in America and not some other country.
Through this transition, Lenney and I realized that it would be helpful if the Gutterglove product packaging had a “Manufacturing Facts” label on it, similar to “Nutrition Facts” on food products. Surprisingly, we found that no such labeling was required or existed for products in the US, so we made our own.
Our label goes on the front of the box, and describes what percentages of country origin are for raw materials and assembly. There’s no more guessing on the part of the consumer wondering what is made in the US and what is made from another country. We both thought this was a great idea, and to help educate the consumer and the manufacturer further, we co-founded www.MadeInUSAFacts.com, a website that will have “Manufacturing Facts” for US made products. It’s currently being beta tested.
Once the website is fully operational, as the President of MadeInUSAFacts.com, my goal will be to bring awareness to manufacturers and our nation on the benefits of buying American. If we encourage the consumer to start buying more and more American made products, then I believe we are
strengthen our currently weakened economy.
If I can encourage companies to start manufacturing at least 10% of their product in the US, just imagine how many jobs that would create. If they are making 100% of their product overseas, maybe the first step for them is to try and assemble a portion of their product in the US, then gradually expand to fully assembling the product here. The next step after that for them would be to find US parts manufacturers to make various components of their product. It’s not realistic to think it will happen over night, but gradually.
If every manufacturer made at least 50% of their product in the US, I think our country’s economic issues could be resolved. As an account rep, and a numbers guy, that’s my humble opinion.
I’m going to continue the push towards creating a better society within our nation. I think it’s important that we as Americans work hard for what we have, and that we promote policies that benefit the hard working class. If we continue to unite as a country and stop the battle that we have with our own policies that increase spending, which in turn forces more taxes upon hard working American people, then I think we can become that nation that our forefathers worked so hard to create. I may just be one guy, but I’m a true American trying to bring back the patriotism this country once felt.
About John Quincy Adams, IV
John Quincy Adams, IV is a direct grandson descendent of our nations 2nd President, John Adams, and of our 6th President John Quincy Adams. John has a daughter named Abigail, and a son named John Quincy Adams, V. He currently works as a National Account Representative for Gutterglove, Inc. (www.Gutterglove.com), a US manufacturer of gutter protection systems in Rocklin California. He is also the President and co-founder of the website www.MadeInUSAFacts.com (currently being beta tested). Adams can be reached through email at [email protected], or by cell phone at (916) 289-0089.