After a manufacturing plant closed down in his hometown of Ravenswood, W.Va., resulting in 650 people losing their jobs, Josh Miller began to wonder what was really made in America anymore.
He decided to set out on a 30-day road trip across the United States in search of answers for how to revive American manufacturing - all the while trying to survive on only goods and products stamped with “Made in USA.”
“I really thought that I could take this opportunity to give the Made in America movement and these folks a voice,” said Miller, who documented his trip in a film, “Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey.”
Miller told Top Line that the Made in America movement isn’t so much about trying to get people to buy only American-made products that might be more expensive than foreign-made ones, but it’s about finding solutions to lower the prices of American-made products.
“I think there are a lot of policies that we can push to help allow our businesses here in America to help reduce costs and lower the prices,” Miller said. “We need to put policies in place that allow us to outcompete the world, and that's what this film was about.”
While Miller hopes that Congress and the president will act to help American businesses become more competitive, his producer, Ron Newcomb, added that they also want to see less government regulation.
“They need to also get out of the way, if you will, and let Americans to do what they do best, thrive in a business environment,” Newcomb said, referring to the federal government.
But perhaps the most effective and immediate solution to create more manufacturing jobs in the United States, Miller and Newcomb said, is for the American consumer to demand it.
“It's a business aspect too,” Miller said. “If the consumers create that demand, the businesses will meet that demand. Request it, demand it, and it will come back and jobs will come back.”
For more of the interview with Miller and Newcomb, and to hear how they say you can live by the principles of the Made in America movement without being a purist, check out this episode of Top Line.
ABC's Eric Wray, Freda Kahen Kashi, Chris Carlson, Tom D’Annibale, and Bob Bramson contributed to this episode.