On June 25, iconic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced it would start producing some of its products overseas, due to the tariffs imposed by the EU in retaliation to President Donald Trump’s trade policy.
The announcement was controversial, and it’s easy to see why. From the car you drive to the jeans you wear, brands often make you feel a particular way about yourself — and that way might be more American. Although brand marketing can be incredibly effective, it often misleads people. Some products that have “American” as part of their names or slogans actually do very little assembling — if any — in the U.S.
You’ll find that some of these companies are owned by corporations outside the U.S. Of course, that doesn’t mean their products are any less reliable.
Click through to see a rundown of popular so-called American brands that manufacture products elsewhere in the world.
Retail company L.L.Bean flaunts itself as one of the few American brands that still operates a U.S. manufacturing facility. Although that’s true, many of the company’s products are manufactured in China, a fact that made headlines in 2017 after Donald Trump encouraged people to buy its wares.
If you’re interested in buying L.L.Bean items that are “Made in the USA,” the signature L.L.Bean Boots and canvas Boat and Tote bags are manufactured in Maine, according to the company website. The brand is highly trusted, though it discontinued its stellar lifetime warranties in February 2018.
L.L.Bean faced challenges in 2017, including flat net sales and shipping problems, compared with a strong performance in 2016 with $1.6 billion in net sales, according to the privately held retailer.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss has been a staple of American denim for generations. Its products are durable, making them a great pickup when you’re trying to save money on clothes over the long term. However, only particular styles are 100 percent American-made. In fact, a quick search on the company’s website produces just a handful of styles made from start to finish in the U.S. The denim for these products is sourced from North Carolina.
The rest of the brand’s apparel line, however, is made in countries such as Bangladesh, China, Mexico and Vietnam, among many others.
Although Levi Strauss & Co. is privately held, shares of the company’s Japanese affiliate, Levi Strauss K.K., are publicly traded in Japan.
New Balance is another one of those so-called American brands that’s not entirely made in America. Its sneakers made in the U.S. represent only a fraction of total production, as most New Balance shoes are made in Asia, according to NPR.
If you want to buy “Made in USA” athletic shoes from New Balance, note that they come with higher price tags.
New Balance is a privately traded company. In 2016, the business earned $3.8 billion in revenue, according to Forbes.
The red metal wagon helped make Radio Flyer one of the most iconic American brands. However, this beloved children’s plaything is not made in the Chicago plant anymore. The famous red wagon has been a product of China since 2004, according to NBC News. Radio Flyer tricycles and scooters are also made in China, along with other assorted items.
The company had $110 million in revenue as of January 2016, according to Forbes.
Melissa & Doug Toys
Melissa & Doug products can be found in many American households. The toy company made a name for itself by producing colorful wooden toys, games and puzzles and has achieved great success in today’s technology-driven world despite its relative simplicity.
Boasting a handcrafted feel, these toys might seem as American as Lincoln Logs, but they’re actually made in China. Still, parents can rest assured knowing the products are examined carefully for safety. The toys are tested multiple times including by the founders Melissa and Doug and their children.
In 2016, ABC News said the company was worth $350 million.
Famous for its caramels, Brach’s Confections has been a staple of American candy jars for more than 100 years. Although “America’s candy maker” graces the bag, in actuality some of these treats come from elsewhere.
In 2012, the candy brand merged with Ferrara Candy Company, which has production facilities in Mexico. To determine where the candy you buy is produced, you’ll have to read the back of the bag carefully, as there’s not a full disclosure on the company’s website. In December 2017, the Ferrero Group — which makes Nutella — acquired Ferrara Candy Company.
Brach’s Confections is a privately held company founded in 1904. No recent financial statements are available to the public.
US Major League Baseballs
Baseball is practically synonymous with American culture, so you’d think that those pricey souvenir baseballs at MLB games would be American-made. However, the manufacturer, Rawlings Sporting Goods, produces them in Costa Rica.
Workers spend 10 hours a day forming 108 stitches on every baseball, according to Reuters. The balls are then shipped to Miami, where they’ll eventually be used for only a few pitches each.
Rawlings is a private subsidiary of Newell Brands, which is publicly traded and includes products such as Rubbermaid and Sharpie.
Some American automakers don’t deliver entirely on the American-made promise. The Chevy Silverado is among America’s best-selling vehicles, but its popular Crew Cab models are made across the border in Mexico, according to Auto Guide’s “Top 10 American Cars Not Actually Made in America.” The automobile sold 585,564 units in 2017, according to data from Kelly Blue Book, making it the No. 2 best-selling vehicle in the U.S. behind Ford’s F-Series. Other cars like the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ are also made in Mexico, according to the report.
General Motors, which owns Chevrolet, recently reported a net revenue of $36.1 billion for the first quarter of 2018, and in April 2018, it revealed in a press release that Chevrolet was the automotive industry’s fastest-growing full-line brand.
American Girl Dolls
In retail stores across the country and boasting the word “American” in its name, American Girl seems like a company that would manufacture its famed dolls in the U.S. In actuality, these dolls are made in China like many other products by parent company Mattel.
American Girl is based in Middleton, Wis., along with two warehouse and distribution facilities.
American Girl Brands, LLC, is a privately held company. In 2017, according to a press release from Mattel, American Girl worldwide gross sales were $451.5 million and down 21 percent from the previous year.
Chuck Taylor All Star
Although first worn by basketball players, Chuck Taylor All Star shoes quickly became popular among non-athletes. Buoyed by musicians and celebrities, this brand has been around since the early 1900s.
In 2003, Nike bought Converse; the sports apparel giant has manufacturing facilities in dozens of countries, including China, India and Brazil.
Converse’s global revenue in 2017 totaled approximately $2 billion, according to Statista.
One of America’s most popular vehicles is actually made south of the border. Some Ram 1500 Regular Cab and Crew Cab models are built in Saltillo, Mexico, in addition to Warren, Mich., according to U.S. News & World Report. The Ram pickup truck sold over 489,000 units in 2016, making it the third best-selling vehicle in the U.S., reported AutoGuide.
Ram is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCAU, a publicly traded company on the NYSE. Total revenue for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles increased by more than $15 billion from $117.1 billion in 2016 to $133.2 billion in 2017.
iPhones and iPads
Apple is known for being an innovative brand. Recently, Apple teamed up with cultural icon Oprah Winfrey for a multiyear film and TV deal. But, that’s not what made the brand so popular.
The iPhone and iPad might feel as American as the pie that shares their company name. However, even though Apple has its headquarters in California, manufacturing is done in China. Apple had shut down its last U.S. manufacturing facility by 2004, according to Bloomberg.
Although Trump promised to get Apple to produce its devices in the U.S. again, there is no evidence of this happening in the near future.
Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is a publicly traded stock on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In 2017, the company saw a jump in both total revenue and net income from 2016.
Gerber Baby Food
When you hear the word “Gerber,” you probably think of the cute Gerber baby pictured on every label. Dating back to the 1920s, Gerber was the first baby food sold in American grocery stores, making it something of an institution. However, these days it’s actually part of Nestle, the Swiss company best known for its chocolate.
Although Gerber does not disclose its manufacturing list on the website, Nestle states that the company has 418 factories in 86 countries.
Nestle’s market cap is $237.3 billion as of June 2018, according to Forbes.
Ray-Ban is among the most recognizable sunglasses around. And while the style is deeply ingrained in American culture, the brand is actually manufactured in Italy these days.
The iconic eyewear was once made in the U.S., but Bausch + Lomb sold the brand to Italian eyewear company Luxottica in 1999. Most Ray-Bans are made in Italy, but some are produced in China, where Luxottica also has factories, according to FramesDirect.com. If you want American-made frames, you’ll have to find vintage Ray-Bans.
Luxottica’s market cap is $30 billion as of June 2018, according to Forbes.
This colorful item has long been a favorite plaything for children. Although the moldable clay originated in Cincinnati in the 1950s, Play-Doh hasn’t been produced in the U.S. since 2004. It’s actually a product of China and Turkey, though this fact is set to change in the near future. Hasbro, the maker of Play-Doh, expects to open a production facility in Massachusetts by 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hasbro (HAS) announced a total revenue of $5.2 billion in 2017, a roughly $200 million increase from the previous year.
Click through to read about the companies that will shape the future.
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