I buy a lot of products manufactured in China. I buy machines built here for my business. The US made machines are about $10,000 and are virtually bullet proof. The engines are from Japan, however.
I bought a tool cabinet from China (not cheap) and the glides on the drawers were like tinfoil. They literally bend in your hand. Didn't even make it through the first day. Ball bearings were falling out all over the place. The drawers would have been better off w/o any bearing glides. The US made ones were about double the price, but hey, at least they work!
Cheap goods have led to a disposable society. Something breaks, you toss it in the landfill rather than repair it. This affects design, as they are engineered to be cheap and sell rather than last a long time. The fuel lines on a Chinese engine used on a piece of equipment I have literally dissolved within a year! I have 8 y/o US or Japan built engines with lines that are still fine. How long can we keep dumping perfectly good items in the trash rather than repair them in a world with finite resources? A more expensive, better built product could offset higher labor costs better via longer life, as materials are a bigger percentage of the cost.
I've had good and bad products from US and elsewhere. I don't buy the US = inferior argument. Even with cars, if you adjust for price, content, and styling, they're now pretty competitive. My other ride is an F150 and it's awesome. We have pickup truck tariffs and that doesn't seem to have diminished US truck quality. In fact it's helped provide jobs making Tundras and Titans here.
QUOTE=newcastlefan;2995861]i tried this already: i spent more to buy american air conditioner and it was a piece of crap that failed within 3 months. I then spent the same amount to buy a chinese air conditioner / heater and it works great and has more features (and it uses less electricity to cool and heat better than the american brand).
its a two way street: american companies have to agree to produce extremely high quality and durable products again. only then will people be willing to pay more to buy american.[/QUOTE]