Recently a friend of mine was in the market for athletic shoes. She likes to buy products made in the USA whenever possible. And is often frustrated as a result. In the garment industry things made for Americans, also made by Americans, are few and far between.
American involvement in Asia has turned from the The Concert for Bangladesh to the funeral for Bangladeshis.
My friend heard about New Balance and went to their website to see if she could find a pair of good old Made-in-the-USA tennie-runners. And was happy to find a page labeled "Made in the USA."
Cool. Finally, a new balance of trade at New Balance dot com. Sorry, the branding copywriter in me made that phrase up. I didn't see it on the website.
What my friend and I did see was this: "New Balance always has, and always will be, committed to making shoes in the U.S. For over 75 years, we have been committed to creating quality products in America. Join us and the thousands of other American Makers who understand that making things here matters."
But wait, hold on to your flag, there was some fine print right after that burst of patriotic commercial fervor.
It said: "One out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in the USA is made or assembled here. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes 'Made in the USA.'"
So 70% or every fourth pair of shoes you buy is made in the US. Is it just me or shouldn't they maybe make a majority of their shoes here before they ballyhoo their commitment?
Still you gotta admire their American ballsyness.
And hey, there's nothing more American than a fine print disclaimer. Some Asian assembly required...
America, ya gotta love it.