'Made in the USA' Making a Comeback?

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In cities and towns across America, buildings that used to house thriving factories producing furniture, textiles -- you name it -- now sit empty.

Now, the not-for-profit Alliance for American Manufacturing is doing its part to turn things around.

Established in 2007, AAM believes America's manufacturing sector is vital to the overall economic health of the country. CBN News met with AAM President Scott Paul at the organization's new headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The architect of the office was given a scary task: use only materials and products made in the United States.

"I think it's safe to say that he and his team were terrified in the beginning that they wouldn't be able to find anything," Paul said.

It became a treasure hunt that yielded an American gold mine. Virtually everything inside the office -- the furniture, flooring, and appliances -- were made in America.

"Even the framing for the graphic pieces that we have here were able to get done here in the United States," Paul explained. "Even the nuts and bolts."

"The furniture that we have is made by a company called Watson Desking in the state of Washington," he continued. "The glass on the outside of the offices [and] the windows were all made in America."

Only on a few occasions did the organization spend more to buy American.

"So we have big industrial lighting made in California, here," Paul explained. "We left the duct work exposed -- even we know the plywood and the wood has "made in America" stamped right on it."

Million New Manufacturing Jobs

During his reelection campaign, President Obama set a goal to create 1 million manufacturing jobs in his second term. Now that his second term is well underway, he's pushing proposals to boost manufacturing.

But Paul said they fall "woefully short" of the president's "campaign rhetoric."

Even if America does add 1 million jobs in the next four years, it's still just a drop in the bucket when you consider the nation has lost nearly 6 million manufacturing jobs over the past decade.

"When you create manufacturing jobs, generally speaking, you're also creating jobs for other sectors because the higher paychecks, the type of supply chains that are needed for manufacturing -- so it has a positive effect on communities all across the country even if they don't necessarily have a factory in their town," Paul explained.

Trade Deficit Not 'Easily Recoverable'

Then there's the whopping $300-plus billion trade deficit with China.

"So that's roughly $25 billion a month, which is just an extraordinary amount of wealth draining out of this country that's not easily recoverable," Paul continued.

The good news is there's growing consumer demand for products made in America.

"I do know this," Paul said. "A lot of these companies wouldn't be spending $8 million on an ad in the Super Bowl to advertise it as 'Made in America' if they didn't think it was going to sell."

AAM is tracking the president's goal of 1 million manufacturing jobs. He still has a long way to go.

Meanwhile, Paul hopes AAM headquarters prove that with a little research, it's possible to create attractive, state-of the-art offices that are fully "Made in the USA."

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.