• Local author says buying American-made products can save economy


    SEATTLE - There's a movement under way to get consumers to buy American-made products, and soon, shoppers in the Puget Sound area will have a new option to support American manufacturers.


    Finishing touches are being put on a new furniture store at University Village called Room & Board.


     The Minneapolis-based retailer sells solid wood, classic-modern furniture.


    But the company's long-time "Made in America" philosophy is selling just as well as its furniture, and 93 percent of its products are manufactured in the U.S.


    "It is a strategy around trying to build good relationships with the partners and the vendors we have.  As well as to just produce really good, high quality products and we feel that can best be done here in America,” said Preston Long with Room & Board.


    Room & Board is riding a wave of consumer interest in buying American.


    A recent study by Perception Research Services found that four out of five shoppers notice made in America labels and are more likely to purchase that product.


    "What you often get from people is, 'I'd like to buy more (products) made in America, but where do I find it?’" said Buy American advocate John Briggs.



    Briggs, who’s a local attorney, is also a blogger and author who writes about the issue of buying American-made products.


    Briggs said buying American products is the answer to the country's economic crisis.


    "How do we create jobs?  We just buy the things that members of our extended American family are already producing,” said Briggs.


    According to another recent survey, consumers are willing to pay more to buy American.


    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois decided to put the survey to the test using two water bottles.


    One made in China cost $9.99.  One made in the U.S., a Thermos brand, is $12.99.


    Dubois asked three shoppers which one they would buy.


    "If I know this is made in China, I'm going to buy (the American-made) one,” said shopper Shannon Collins.


    “You’ll pay $3 more?” asked Dubois.


    “Absolutely,” said Collins.


    Shopper Colton Martin said the Thermos brand looked and felt like it was built better.


    Shopper Matt Collins, however, said he didn’t know if he would pay $3 more to buy the American-made bottle.


    Dubois said most people he interviewed said they would pay more for American-made products, especially if they're better quality and they can find a good selection of products.


    Briggs said retailers need to do a better job carrying and marketing U.S.-made products.


    "I think people want to do the right thing, but you have to make it easy for them,” said Briggs.


    Meanwhile, when Room & Board opens later this month, the owners said they hope to deliver what its customers want: Furniture for their homes and a good, patriotic feeling in their hearts.


     Briggs wants to help shoppers find American-made products and features specific manufacturers and retailers on his website, simply-American.net.

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