In the 1960s, nine out of 10 holiday gifts that Americans bought were made in the U.S. But these days, more than half of what Americans purchase for the holidays is made overseas.
So with U.S. shoppers expected to spend more than $700 this holiday season – and the average shopper having already forked over about $423 just last weekend – “World News” took to the streets of New York City recently as it kicked off the return of its “Made in America Christmas.”
Kim Hoffman of the Poconos let ABC News peek inside her bags outside of FAO Schwartz.
“Oh, I hope it’s American,” she said of the items she’d just purchased.
But the teddy bear inside bore a “Made in China” label. In fact, according to the U.S. census, Americans spent $2.5 billion on Christmas toys made in China last year.
Marianella and Denise Sorita traveled from Mexico to buy U.S. products but found Chinese tags inside two shopping bags.
Economists say that if each American spends $64 on U.S. items this h0liday season, they’d create 200,000 jobs.
Last year, the effort to get people to buy at least one U.S.-made item for Christmas transformed schools and communities.
In Vernon, Vt., for instance, there was more than $550,000 in pledges to buy American products for the holidays.
Dina Cooper of Virginia didn’t have anything in her shopping bags that was made in the U.S. but she was ready to take the challenge: buy one thing for $64.
“I’m in,” she said. “I guarantee it. Yes, I will.”