For years, cheap imports have attacked the American woodworking industry with price savings that were impossible to ignore. So why are we seeing a resurging interest in American-made products?
Every day, I am either in the field talking with woodworkers or on the phone with woodworking suppliers. My company, Resolute Sales, works as independent representative, selling directly to woodworkers in the Midwestern U.S. We are the factory-direct reps for companies in the woodworking market, several of which are American-made manufacturers.
Every day, I also hear the request for more American-made sources. What has changed to bring back the interest in American products vs. imports? Is it a new tide of patriotism sweeping the country?
Let’s deal with the patriotic angle first. The answer—unfortunately—is no. Woodworkers are like anyone else; we like to buy American as long as it is competitive with the import. If the price for the American product is more than 10% over the import, most of us buy the import. Patriotism takes a second seat to saving money or making profit.
* This article is the first in a series of four guest blogs entitled "Made in America" by industry professional Bill Riebau. Every Saturday, Woodworking Network will publish another installment of Bill's discussion. Join us next week for Part II: American Vs. Import.
Bill Riebau grew up in the family cabinet business covering his blisters in sawdust. After 20 years building cabinets and running the 60 man shop, Bill turned that experience into an Independent Rep business specializing in new innovations for the woodworking industry. You can reach Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.