Electronics. Specifically, computers. Can't live without them, can't stand the frustration of trying to buy American when shopping for them. In this one large area, the challenge feels almost insurmountable.
If you want to buy a computer that wasn't made in another country, don't waste your time going to the big box stores searching for one. It's more than likely that no American workers were involved in the assembly process.
And supporting American workers involves more than just caring about which country's workers put your computer together. It's also caring about which country your customer service calls are routed to when you have a computer question, concern, or comment.
Fortunately, this challenge is not insurmountable, and shopping for a computer can now also mean buying American. That's because there's a company called Systemax (www.SystemaxPC.com); they're my source for computer systems assembled in the USA - and at great prices. And, when you call them to place an order (like I did) or ask questions about your computer (as I did) you'll talk to an American employee who not only understands your computer, but also understands you (and vice-versa).
If there's ever an instance where you need technical support, your call will also be answered in America. And even though I've never had to make one of those calls because my computer has never had a single problem, I still thought that was great news when I heard it.
Perhaps you're wondering why Systemax computers, like mine, are "assembled in USA" which means a product can have a combination of foreign and domestic parts, and not "made in USA" which means it was "all or virtually all" made here with American parts and labor? Because all computer companies like Systemax get the majority of their components from other companies, and it's not up to them where these components are made.
For example, Intel makes some of their processors in America, but not all of them. Unfortunately, a small computer company like Systemax can't demand that a corporate heavyweight, like Intel, rearrange its logistics system so that the processors they make (which go into Systemax PCs), are sourced solely from the United States. In fact, no computer company can make such a demand.
But for Systemax customers there is comfort that we can all take. We know that regardless of whether we're looking for desktops for our homes or our businesses, whether we're using them for entertainment or productivity, and whether we're buying refurbished ones or customizing them exactly the way we want, our computers will be assembled by American workers only.
For me, supporting an American-owned company was also very important when choosing a computer to compose all my work in support of the Buy American cause.
Making a quick trip to Best Buy or other big-box stores that carry computers will ensure you'll be immersed in an atmosphere of foreign-owned computer companies like Acer, Asus, and Gateway (Taiwanese owned); Fujitsu, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba (Japanese owned); Lenovo (Chinese owned); and Samsung (Korean owned).
Even if you were to buy a computer from an American company at one of those big box stores, it's highly unlikely that computer would be assembled in the USA. With Systemax, it's 100 percent certain.
If you're in the market for a desktop or laptop for any purpose (or even a server), contact Systemax. When an American customer service representative answers your call, ask how they can create an American-assembled computer, one that will fit all of your needs, whatever they may be. I did exactly that over two years ago, and when the day comes (and I bet it's a day that's far off in the future given my Systemax's track record of zero problems) that's what I will be doing again.