90% of the stuff in Walmart is made in the USA?

Maybe it’s just a definitions thing. I worked for a company making high-end PCs optimized for graphics performance. They set up a production line in Asia, built and tested the PCs, and then hauled out the graphics card, a hard drive, and one or two other minor components. They then shipped the whole thing to the US where it was assembled by high school students and proudly marked “Made in USA.”
At the time, (late '80s) I believe the processor might have been still made in the US. I can’t think of anything else that would have been.



According to this site that was advertised on the radio this morning 60% of Wal-Mart’s stuff is imported.

My favorite factoid was:

I’m guessing that like others have said, it’s a difference in statistics.

If you look at the total number of SKUs in a Wal-Mart, or even that Wal-Mart stocks somewhere in the US, it’s probably 70-80% Chinese or imported.

If you look at total units moved, or even total dollars spent, it’s probably predominantly US SKUs, and as others have said, it’s almost certainly due to groceries.

Another type of goods that Wal-Mart sells a lot of is car stuff- tires, motor oil, filters, wiper blades, etc… and all the oil, and the vast majority of the tires and filters are US made. Hardware is another place where I’m guessing that the paint is all US-made, while the brushes are Chinese.

Thing is, you usually buy one or two brushes and/or rollers, but several gallons of paint for a large project.
The big issue is that the Chinese are able to get away with selling their stuff so cheap because they have ludicrous minimum wage laws, very little in the way of worker protection legislation, and an artificially valued currency.

The US has none of these things. Essentially, the same shop-vac or boom-box made in China and sold for $50 would likely cost quite a bit more if it was made in the US. I’m guessing that the components would likely be similar in cost, but labor will kill you.

US minimum wage: $5.85/hr, Chinese minimum wage (Guangdong province) $0.60/hr.

So assuming your boom-box takes 20 minutes to build, you’ve still paid the US worker 9.75 times what the Chinese guy made.

Assuming that the company passes that cost along to the consumer, the US company is automatically at a disadvantage, unless it wants to make less money and/or can come up with some other cheaper way to do it.

Since the Chinese products are angling for lowest-cost, any US competitors will have to match that price, or people will buy the Chinese goods, assuming there aren’t any significant differentiators between the US and Chinese products.

That’s where the US has the problem (of sorts)- we can’t afford to pay our workers what we do, and continue to compete with places who pay their workers such low wages, at least not directly.