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OUR VIEW: Here's a cure that's made in America

If you had a choice, would you buy American?

Sounds like a simple question with an easy answer. The truth of the matter is, it isn’t a simple question. Many think of themselves as patriots but still choose foreign products over those manufactured right here in the United States.

Gwinnett businessman and philanthropist Clyde Strickland wants to fix that. He believes strongly that a renewed push to buy American is just what this ailing country needs.

At a meeting of local and state business leaders last week, Strickland laid out his strategy and invited those around the table to join his “Made in America” campaign.

The premise is that buying American goods will create American jobs, improve the American economy and give Americans a renewed hope of recovery.

Price, quality and availability are criteria when picking out a product, but Strickland says a sticker that proclaims “Made in America” should trump all.

There’s much more to the campaign. Other planks are getting people back to work, job creation and retention and making America more attractive to manufacturers. But the place to start turning this country around is at the sales counter and cash registers.

Marketing the “Made in America” campaign should start at home by discussing the benefits of American products with family and friends, working through organizations, such as chambers of commerce, churches, schools, etc. Strickland also encourages retailers to promote Buy American and set up areas in stores that sell only Made in the USA items.

Once upon a time, the United States was the undisputed economic engine of the world. Today, China is driving the global economy. Perhaps it’s fitting that Strickland strikes this initiative while Chinese President Hu Jintao is on U.S. soil.

The “Buy American” movement has ebbed and flowed over the years. Its modest impact doesn’t dissuade Strickland from beating his drum. If you just keep beating, he says, others will join in. As the beat crescendos, success is at hand.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact. Corrections usually run on Page 4A.