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2 Local Congressmen Pitch ‘American Star’ Labeling For US-Made Products

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Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall, Jenn Bernstein

HATFIELD, Pa. (CBS) — Karen Thompson is committed to carrying products made in America, at her store Signatures located in Peddler’s Village, Bucks County.

“We love products that are made in the USA, because our guests ask for products made in the USA,” said Thompson.

Brian Lipstein, the owner of Henry A. Davidsen in Center City, a men’s custom suit maker, says more and more of his garments are made in the U.S.

He says the increase is due to growth in his business and the improving economy.

“We are up about 5 to 10 percent over last year in our American made products,” said Lipstein, “and if you look at the last two years combined, we are up 200 percent over the last five years combined.”

At The Rodon Group in Hatfield, American workers are manufacturing American plastic components for an American toy company – K’Nex.

Recent trends show consumers prefer products made in America but currently there’s no national standard when it comes to labeling.

“Consumers are craving things that are made here, but they’re having a hard time telling on the package how much of a product is made here,” said the CEO of K’Nex Brands and The Rodon Group, Michael Araten.

A new bill introduced by Bucks County Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and Delaware Congressman John Carney this week, could make it easier.

Fitzpatrick says his legislation directs the US Commerce Department to create a voluntary product-labeling program for American-made products. He hopes this leads to more manufacturing in this country and more jobs.

Dubbed “American Star,” he sees it as similar to the Energy Star program for energy efficiency.

Fitzpatrick says American consumers associate domestic production with increased safety and quality.

“There are surveys that demonstrate that eighty percent of the American people are willing to and want to actually pay more for product that they know is actually manufactured in the United States by American workers,” he said today.

Fitzpatrick was joined by Araten, president and CEO of K’nex Brands, who says manufacturers are looking for two things to be more successful: to be different, and they’re looking for things consumers will react to.

Araten says things that are made here sell better than things that aren’t, and people want them.

Manufacturers could tout their product is made here, and consumers would know the label is legitimate.

“I think we are compelled to do this, it’s the right, patriotic, thing to do,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick.

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