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1998-08-04
Mainland China. Made In the USA?

Wal-Mart boasts in its employee's handbook that the company is "constantly seeking more items to convert from foreign sources to American manufacturers. We prefer to place American-made products on our shelves." But according to a recent in-store survey by the National Labor Committee, Wal-Mart's shelves would be nearly empty if they displayed only American made goods. The NLC checked more than 92,000 clothing items, shoes, and accessories at 14 Wal-Mart stores in a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The NLC estimates that 85% of the items reviewed were made overseas. And the response from Bentonville? "I don't know how much of our private labels are made offshore," Wal-Mart spokes-associate Betsy Reithemeyer told the Philadephia Inquirer. "I'm not disputing that its probably 80%, which is probably the same as Target, Kmart, and everybody else...That's just a fact of the global marketplace." So Wal-Mart's justification is: "the other guys do it". If only 20% of Wal-Mart merchandise is American made, how can the company continue to brag about its "Made Right Here" program, unless "here" refers to Hong Kong or Mexico city? At least Wal-Mart is 20% right on the USA campaign. Profit locally, buy globally.

What you can do: Looking for American made goods? Write to: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Bentonville, AR 72716-8611. Tell them you would "prefer" to see them stock their shelves with American products, but if 8 out of 10 times they don't, suggest that they alter their slogan to "Sold Right Here."










 
 
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