Between a more than two-year U.S.-China trade war and an unprecedented worldwide pandemic, global supply chains have been shaken to their core. As fashion companies look at how they may—or may not—adjust their sourcing in the future, one pro-U.S. manufacturing nonprofit offers some evidence that American consumers may be more willing to support those who choose to reshore.
In Reshoring Institute’s nearly 500-person survey, the group found 59.83 percent said they would pay more for a product made in the U.S., while 21.53 percent said they would not (18.63 percent were not sure). When asked if they prefer products made in the U.S., 69.42 percent responded in the affirmative and 14.5 percent no.
Nearly half of the respondents—a mix of consumers and industrial buyers—said they would be willing to pay 20 percent or more for U.S.-made products: 32.83 percent said they’d pay 20 percent more, 10.1 percent said 25 percent more, 2.78 percent said 30 percent more and 3.79 percent said 50 percent more.
The survey’s other findings included: 46.28 percent thought products made in the U.S. were better quality, while 21.9 percent did not and 31.61 percent were unsure; 57.35 percent said the origin of the product affected their purchase decision, 26.92 said it did not and 14.91 percent were unsure; and 59.83 percent believed the “Made in” information on product labels, 10.97 percent did not and 29.19 were unsure.
The Reshoring Institute distributed its survey through email lists, social media such as Facebook, and word of mouth. The institute noted that it was not intended as scientific research, but rather as an opinion or preference survey.
The nonprofit’s data comes amid an emerging negative consumer sentiment toward Chinese products. A Coresight Research survey conducted in early June found as many as 47.8 percent of respondents said they either agree or strongly agree that U.S. retailers should source fewer products from China. In light of the pandemic and the sentiments that have emerged surrounding it, 39.7 percent said they are now less willing to buy Made in China products.
This consumer attitude has coincided with real action from corporate leaders. According to a Gartner survey, 33 percent of supply chain leaders either have moved their sourcing and manufacturing activities out of China, or plan to do so by 2023.