We’re all very aware of how tough economic times are here is the US. Unemployment rates are at record breaking highs, our national debt is sky high, and consumer confidence is at an all time low.
As a nation we import more goods than we export and we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of jobs oversees. The label “Made In Japan” or “Made In China” is no longer synonymous with the term “junk”. Instead it’s synonymous with the term “reasonably priced”.
So how does the Made In The USA label relate to the toy industry? The US Commerce Department has reported that as much as 95% of the toys that are sold here are imported. Most of them are imported from China. Now isn’t that a surprise!
This doesn’t happen because there’s more innovative technology overseas as far as toys goes. It happens for the very simple reason that the Chinese work for next to nothing, water freight is cheap, and we can still land those toys into our ports for less than what it would cost an American based corporation to produce them.
While all of this is true, there is one small bright spot in this otherwise bleak picture. The Little Tikes company, based in Hudson, Ohio, is proud to manufacture some ride on toys that still handle the Made in the USA label. Their ever popular and adorable Cozy Coupe continues to be made here is the good ole USA.
MSNBC reports that Little Tikes still manufacturers their bigger and bulkier plastic products that have prohibitive ocean freight costs at the Ohio plant. Employing approximately 500 employees, this company continually searches for ways to produce as efficiently as they can while keeping production costs low.
In order to continue their Ohio operations, Little Tikes has assumed a low interest $3.2 million low interest loan from the state of Ohio and more than $4 million in government loans, grants, and tax credits. In return, Little Tikes has agreed to increase their work force by 66 jobs and continue to manufacture in Hudson for another 14 years.
So just how do we as a nation feel about the state of our manufacturing? I for one think that it’s about time for our government to step up to the plate and give corporations some incentives for bringing back and keeping jobs right here in our own country.
There’s got to be a way to turn things around and make us the largest exporter in the world – not the largest importer. Hurray for Little Tikes for being able to do what they’re doing and may they continue the good work.