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Are American made products a priority to you?

March 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
"Buy American" used to be a popular slogan. Now, with the troubled economy and high unemployment, a lot of people are saying it again.

When you look at the stuff that fills your house - the furniture, the appliances, the home goods - you may be surprised just how little of it is made in the United States. All this week, ABC World News is examining the issue of buying American and the misconceptions so many people have when it comes to U.S.-made good. We're clearing out one family's home and refurnishing it with only American-made products. Can it be done? What would it look like? And how much would it cost?

Today, more than half of everything Americans buy is made overseas. If every American spent an extra 1 percent on U.S. products, that's 18 cents per day, we could create 200,000 U.S. jobs, according to Moody's Analytics.

In an ABC7/Survey USA poll, 66 percent of L.A. and Southern California residents said they check products to see if it was made in America. If an American-made product costs slightly more than a foreign-made product, 66 percent said they would buy American. But if an American-made product costs much more than a foreign-made product, 66 percent said they would buy foreign.

Nowhere is the perception, or misperception, about the quality of American products more evident than when it comes to cars and trucks.

"Generally, people still believe that the imports make a better quality vehicle. Although the data is just not there," said Steve Witten, executive director of automotive retail at J.D. Power and Associates, which evaluates consumer product quality.

He says American-made cars are at the top of the quality list.

"Last year in our quality study, for the first time, the domestics actually surpassed the imports in quality," said Witten.

So what vehicles are American?

"You could drive a Ford that's made in Canada or made in Mexico. You could drive a BWM that's made in America. So what's an import and what's a domestic?" questioned Witten.

It's a question not easily answered in a global economy, which can mean a bumpy ride to American loyalty.

Do you know what U.S. brands are no longer made in America? Take the quiz.

Tune in all this week to ABC World News at 6:30 p.m.

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