Even products perceived as "American" brands, like Levis and Wrangler jeans, are now made either south of the border or overseas and that all-American paean to capitalism -- the Monopoly game -- has a workforce in Ireland that is churning out all those red hotels and green houses for Hasbro (HAS) .
Last month, a study conducted by global management consulting firm Booz & Co. with the University of Michigan's Tauber Institute for Global Operations, said the future of U.S. manufacturing is being decided now.
"Today, U.S. manufacturers provide about 75% of the products that Americans consume," the study says. "But that number could soar to 95% within a few years if business and government leaders take the right actions. Conversely, if the sector remains neglected, that output could fall by half, meeting less than 40% of U.S. demand."
The report was based on a sector-by-sector analysis of U.S. industrial competitiveness, along with a survey of 200 manufacturing executives and experts.
Among the recommendations:
- The U.S. needs to build a better future with Mexico, shifting less-demanding, labor-intensive processes to that country while helping build a safer consumer economy there and retaining highly skilled work in the U.S.
- America needs more robust manufacturing-education programs, immigration reform and to promote the attractiveness of manufacturing careers.
- Public and private sectors can build geographical concentrations of suppliers, service providers and academic institutions, reinforced by investments in infrastructure.
- The country needs also to simplify and streamline the tax and regulatory structure. The official statutory corporate tax rate stands at 39%. Closing the gap between statutory and effective rates (typically 28%) would be a revenue-neutral way to put U.S. manufacturing on a level global playing field.
While government officials debate these and other proposals, consumers can take matters into their own hands by buying American-made goods.
The following are 10 things you can still buy that fit that category: