Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What does patriotic music have to do with Black Friday?
A lot, say advocates for American manufacturing from all sides of the political spectrum.
Patriot Voices, a Conservative group founded by Rick and Karen Santorum, wants shoppers to “Buy American” this Christmas.
“The challenge is to turn this Black Friday into a Red, White and Blue Friday; and to turn this Christmas as we continue to struggle economically into a ‘Buy in the USA’ kind of Christmas,” former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano.
It’s a theme echoed by the United Steelworkers union and companies behind the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a group with a similar challenge.
“We’ve asked people to buy just one item that is made in America as they’re shopping for gifts, and we hope they’ll buy more,” said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance.
But when it comes to where products are made, shoppers rarely know.
“No. Never even thought about it,” said Laura Robson of Frazier Township.
“No. I never do. It doesn’t really matter to me,” added Nick Tappe of Shaler.
And price is key for many.
“I’m probably going for the better price with the best quality I can find. Wherever that’s made that’s what I’m going for,” said Mary Bukovac of Shaler.
Whether you shop on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday, or any other day of the holiday season, Buy American advocates say that for the future of American manufacturing, it pays to pay attention to the label on the product.
Does it say, “Made in America?”
Chances are it will say ‘Made in China’ or some other country – frustrating many shoppers.
“You don’t have the option to pick Chinese or American. So, if America starts making things, we can start buying them,” noted Leroy Wheeler of McKees Rocks.
Proponents say that’s happening, and websites like AmericansWorking.com can link shoppers to American products at good prices.
“We have to watch out for our country,” added Mary Ann Appelt from Ross Township.