Changing Times

June 18, 2019

At one time 'Made in USA' was a foregone conclusion on any type of product you can name. Just in the local Midwest area alone, hardware companies such as Welch Lock, Barrows Lock, Fort Lock, Chicago Lock and Almont were popular names in their time. Locksmiths living in New England can name many more lock companies such as Eagle and Lori who have come and gone over the years. Some of these marques have merged with others but in many cases they have just disappeared from the marketplace.

Our hardware industry is not unique. Popular old names in every industry have come and gone over the years. While the companies have vanished, the type of products they once made are still available except they are now coming from distant lands or south of the border instead of being made in American factories. In many cases consumers have no alternative but to buy goods made in China or elsewhere. Even if American companies private label these products, somewhere in the small print 'made in China' often appears. Slowly but surely we are becoming dependent on everything from clothing to hardware which we are no longer prepared to manufacture in USA.

A recent E-mail from a distributor lists 11 lock companies that will soon be raising their prices. There are probably valid reasons but the first that comes to mind is that the source of production is raising their prices. If that source of production is overseas, it points to the weakened position our country is now in. Not too many years ago politicians spoke of letting foreign countries make the products while intelligent people in USA should concentrate on inventing the new products. As time goes on that does not seem to be a winning strategy. Make America great again has a long hard road ahead.