Made in the USA?

I am an inventor, designer, entrepreneur — a manufacturer! My career creates jobs — manufacturing jobs — “really, really good jobs” — right here in the United States. I must be Trump’s Man, his model of a picture-perfect gentleman. Perhaps I would be the Economic Superhero in Donald’s World.

I hand-make beautiful, clever audio products  — but there’s a catch… two catches, actually:

  1. I buy most of my parts from China.
  2. I sell most of my products overseas.

That’s right. I import parts, arrange them into something wonderful, and export them. We sell our gear in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Mexico — I SELL TO MEXICO!! Donald Trump’s protectionist economics would cut off both my legs. In his first hundred days in office I would be unemployed, beggared, and applying to the Trump Foundation for a grant to support my food habit.

How is my success possible? All I hear is that jobs are fleeing to Mexico, and China is somehow screwing us by giving us what we want at prices we want to pay. I have pondered this muchly and have come up with three pillars of my success:

  1. “Made In USA” still has cache — even when qualified such as “Hand Made in USA of variously-sourced components.” Though some of our leaders may try to convince you that we are a bunch of losers, my Norwegian customers think we are awesome.
  2. The market for my products is not as crowded in Australia as it is here in the USA. Ours is a very large market characterized by fantastic distribution, low shipping costs, and little or no taxation. You can find and buy virtually anything quite easily in the US. The same is not true in Uruguay. It is easier for me to distinguish myself in the Uruguayan market than the US market.
  3. Elvis was born in Tupelo, not Taipei. We invented rock and roll and no one else can ever say that. My product designs are inspired by, and descended from, the classic designs of Fender, Gibson and other uniquely American companies. Oh, the French and Italians make nice looking amps too, to be sure, but it is our heritage.

We have something the global economy wants: innovation, design, quality, unique traditions and sensibilities — cool stuff! And the global economy offers something I vitally need: customers.

The Percolator by Zeppelin Design Labs. Hand made in USA from variously-sourced parts.

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