You are here

Reader Participation Day: Should More American-Made Products Be Available for Purchase in America's National Parks?

Share

 Visitors browse the bookstore at Grand Teton's Jenny Lake Visitor Center.  Bob Janiskee photo.

Anybody who shops for souvenirs or other durable goods in national park bookstores or concessions cannot fail to notice that the great majority of the products are imports. This T-shirt was manufactured in Honduras.  That stuffed toy was made in China. And so on.

We know that it's all about money. Imported products are cheaper and yield bigger profits.  

Do you think it's important to have more American-made products available for purchase in America's national parks? Would you be willing to buy these products even if they cost more than their imported counterparts?

Comments

Bruce, that's not the way that people that have managed to have enough to travel in these Parks think.   Examples:  Oakland Bay Bridge, MLK Memorial and even while the Pinyon Nuts are being gathered by native Americans around the Grand Canyon they'er selling Pinyon Nuts at the market that are from, you guessed it, China!  There's a reality our there:).


Do you think it's important to have more American-made products available for purchase in America's national parks?  Yes.  This is becoming more and more important to preserving our economy and standard of living, in my opinion.
Would you be willing to buy these products even if they cost more than their imported counterparts?  Yes.  We are not talking about Target here.  If you can afford to travel to and patronize our national parks, you can afford to pay a bit more for that "Where the hell are the bears?" t-shirt.


Anonymous:
The National Parks are our National Treasure. As such we should be promoting "Made in America". Tourists to the park, should they be Americans or Foreigners should be able to take home American made gifts from an American treasure. This will also create the much needed jobs here. It has been shown that items made here are not any more expensive than those made in China. Let's support American made instead of China made.

    Honestly it's rather nebulous what "Made in America" means these days. How much of the content of a product is actually manufactured in the US?

As an example, there's the New Balance shoe company. They have US assembly operations. I believe they make the foam soles and have workers assemble the parts. However, there's been a lot of information that they have the entire uppers and rubber soles made in China, and American workers simply glue them together.

I suspect that quite a few of these comparably-priced, (supposedly) American made trinkets consist of lots of imported parts and materials.  When they contain more American materials, they sell for a lot more.  I noted the incense cedar boxes we bought.  They were over $20.  I suspect a cheap similar box made in China would have sold for under $10.

The only place we truly see a proper accounting is with autos. They'll list the value content of the parts. A typical American car will have a sizable value of parts from Mexico, Japan, and other parts of Asia.


The National Parks are our National Treasure.  As such we should be promoting "Made in America".  Tourists to the park, should they be Americans or Foreigners should be able to take home American made gifts from an American treasure.  This will also create the much needed jobs here.  It has been shown that items made here are not any more expensive than those made in China.  Let's support American made instead of China made.


Unfortunately, the companies that made these trinkets in the USA are out of business because they could not compete in the world market. So if the buyer for the shops can buy an American made product that is comparible in price and quality, he should. I imagine the supplier for the shop does not give them much choice. So unless some of you open a shop making some of the things you are looking for, we are probably stuck seeing "made somewhere else."


Certainly most of the goods sold should be from the USA, especially in the National Parks. Ideally the goods would be produced as locally as possible. And don't get me going on free trade issues!


I work in Yellowstone.  I hear many folks complaining that so many items offered for sale are made in China.  In an American Naitonal Park, they want to purchase items made in America.


Great Smoky Mountains Association emphasizes not only made in USA but local products.
They have local honey, stone ground flour and other food stuff.
Check them out at http://www.thegreatsmokymountains.org/
Danny


Add comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide