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What 5 popular products would cost if made in the US


In his first address since his victory speech — a two-and-a-half minute YouTube video posted November 21 — President-elect Donald Trump dove right into the issue of trade.

On his first day in office, Trump said, he plans to “issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a disaster for our country.”

Free trade teals like the TPP and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) played a prominent role in Trump’s campaign message. Though the TPP is not yet in effect, Trump has consistently blamed NAFTA and other trade deals for shipping too many jobs overseas and hurting the US economy.

Although there is broad support for increasing US manufacturing power overall, goods made in the US are inevitably more expensive than those created in countries where labor is cheaper, such as China, Vietnam, and Mexico. If the production of popular items like iPhones and sneakers were done domestically rather than abroad, their prices would increase considerably.

Here’s what five of your favourite products would cost if they were American-made.


An evaluation by Marketplace looked into the hypothetical cost of an American-made iPhone. If all the components were made in the US, they suggest, that could push the cost up to $600, which would mean the phone could retail for as much as $2000.


Clothing costs could increase even more than that of electronics if they were manufactured in the US. For a device like the iPhone, the majority of the cost is in the materials that go into it. But materials for shirts and pants are cheap — the labor makes up a higher portion of the cost of production.


The size and shipping costs of TVs lend themselves to near-shoring, a practice in which a company outsources production to a facility closer to its home country. A few companies, however, are at least assembling the components in the US. The biggest and most well known is Element Electronics, whose televisions are sold at stores like Walmart and Target.

Element’s TVs are actually among the cheapest sets on the market, despite the fact that they’re assembled in Winnsboro, South Carolina. A 42-inch, ultra-high-definition smart TV is currently selling for $329 at Target, which is comparable to the price of a similar Westinghouse model ($299, marked down $449).


New Balance shoes range in price from $65 to $399, but the American-made pairs start at $165 and get as expensive as $399. (The most expensive pair on the New Balance website is indeed made in the US.) That means none of the lowest-priced pairs are manufactured domestically.

A similar contrast is also visible in Reebok’s shoes. The company makes a Postal Express line, which is made in the US and designed specifically to meet the needs of postal workers. But the shoes range from $167-$230, whereas Reebok’s regular athletic footwear costs between $80 and $165.

Solar panels

In the case of solar panels, those manufactured domestically are consistently more expensive than those imported from abroad. A 330-watt mono panel from Canadian Solar — which manufactures most of its panels in China and Vietnam — costs 69 cents per watt. SolarWorld, one of the biggest domestic solar panel makers, sells a similar 300-watt mono panel for 85 cents per watt. Considering the typical home uses 7,000 watts of solar power, that difference translates into a price difference of $1,120.