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30 Iconic U.S. Brands That Aren't Made in America

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Ford Edge
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Born in the USA

The declining state of manufacturing in the United States continues to be a hot-button issue in American politics. Although industries like finance and real estate have gradually grown to employ more people in the manufacturing industry’s place, it’s still difficult for many Americans to grasp just how many companies have exported manufacturing jobs overseas. These are just some of the most unexpected companies who have ditched domestic manufacturing

Related: Made in the USA — 33 Must-See Factory Tours

Ray Ban
Ray Ban

Ray Ban

What could be more American looking than sunglasses that have been worn by the likes of JFK, Jack Nicholson, and Tom Cruise? The image may still be all American, but the production has moved elsewhere. In 1999, eye-care giant Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to Italy’s Luxottica, and the stylish shades have since been made there and in China.

Hush Puppies
Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies

These iconic casual shoes have been around for more than 60 years after getting their start in Michigan. The company that claims “We invented casual” has supplemented its original humble, brushed suede-styles that have been sported by A-list celebs like Tom Hanks and David Bowie with a rainbow of colors and finishes. It also has shifted production to countries like China, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic.

Arrow Shirts
Amazon

Arrow Shirts

Arrow shirts have a heritage dating back to the mid-1800s with origins in Chicago and Troy, New York. Today the company highlights those roots with a line of stylish and popular shirts called Arrow USA 1851. But as with much of the apparel industry, the production isn’t in the U.S. One tag on the shirts may say Arrow USA 1851, but another tag may say the shirt was made in Cambodia, China, or Bangladesh.

Woolrich Camp Wool Blanket
Woolrich

Woolrich

A legendary company that dates back to 1830 and supplied uniforms to Union troops in the Civil War, Woolrich can no longer boast “Made in USA.” The company known for its cozy woolen products and the distinctive red-black Buffalo Check pattern produced goods for other companies like L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer in addition to its own line of goods. Eventually production started moving overseas to China, Vietnam, and other countries. In late 2018, the company announced the closure of its Pennsylvania plant. 

Gillette Razors Made in Brazil
Target

Gillette

The razor company Gillette certainly has a well-known name in American business. Aside from its products, there’s even a Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts where the Superbowl-winning New England Patriots play. But according to an advertising watchdog group, the company overhyped its connection to Beantown when its advertising spotlighted the company’s Boston headquarters. The nick with that is, said Truthinadvertising.org, the company makes its products in several other countries, such as China, Mexico, and Brazil, and shouldn’t be implying broad “Made in USA” cred.

Mattel
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Barbie

A major figure in the lives of so many young girls, the all-American Barbie doll is one of the most iconic products made by multinational toy manufacturer Mattel. The company is headquartered in California but closed its last American factory in 2002, outsourcing all production to China. 

Related: 20 Toy Brands That Are Still Made in America

Huffy cruiser
Amazon

Huffy

Huffy’s bicycles came with a U.S. flag emblazoned somewhere on the frame until 1999, when it was hit by financial struggles and a drop in bike prices dictated by high-volume retailers like Walmart. The company laid off its hundreds of plant employees in Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi as it moved manufacturing operations to Mexico and China.

Fisher Price children's toy phones
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Fisher-Price

Founded in New York in 1930, Fisher-Price has been making reliable children’s toys for nearly a century now, having helped popularize the use of plastic for toy making in the 1950s. The company’s shift to international manufacturing began in 1993, when it was acquired by Mattel, and led to a massive recall of nearly a million China-made toys in 2007 due to concerns about lead paint. 

Related: 15 Dangerous Products That Had to Be Recalled

American flag styled Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars
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Converse

One of America’s most easily recognizable footwear companies is Converse, particularly for its long-running Chuck Taylor All-Stars. The brand struggled for several decades before filing for bankruptcy repeatedly and selling to Nike, who helped the shoes enjoy a resurgence but also moved manufacturing completely from the United States to Indonesia and other countries in Asia.

Nike store logo Beijing
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Nike

The Nike swoosh is among the world’s most recognizable brand logos, bringing to mind the company’s athletic footwear and scores of endorsements by American athletes. Though founded in Oregon, the company has been manufacturing shoes in international plants since at least the 1970s, when new protective labor laws in South Korea and Taiwan drove manufacturing to less prohibitive markets in China and Vietnam. But as wages have increased in China, Nike has been shifting more production to Vietnam and other countries in Asia.

Levi's Denim Jeans
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Levi's

An American brand that’s survived since its founding during California’s gold rush, Levi’s is inseparable from the blue denim jeans it brought into fashion. But today most if not all of the iconic garment-maker’s products are manufactured in plants in China, Vietnam, and elsewhere around the world.

Related: The History of American Jeans: From Railroad to Runway

Schwinn Volare Hybrid Bike
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Schwinn

Still one of the most visible bicycle brands, Schwinn produced and sold lightweight American-made bikes from a facility in Chicago until 1991, when cheap international competitors prompted the company to send its manufacturing overseas. The company has since been sold to Pacific Cycle, owned by the multinational conglomerate Dorel Industries, meaning its current China- and Taiwan-made models have little in common with classic Schwinns.

Rawlings baseball
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Rawlings

Is baseball still America’s pastime when the balls used to play it aren’t even made here anymore? The company was founded in St. Louis and used to manufacture baseballs in Puerto Rico, but it had already moved production to Haiti by the time it became an official Major League Baseball supplier. The balls are now produced in Costa Rica and China.  

Related: 25 Well-Made Products You'll Never Have to Buy Again

Radio Flyer Red Wagon
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Radio Flyer

The red toy wagon produced by Chicago-based Radio Flyer has been a prominent fixture of so many American childhoods since its invention in 1917. The Chicago plant previously manufactured the wagon, as well as other products like scooters and tricycles, until maintenance costs forced the company to move the bulk of its production to China.  

Etch A Sketch
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Etch A Sketch

Another toy most children in America grew up with, the Etch A Sketch was invented in France and bought by Ohio Art Co. The U.S.-based company brought the toy to international prominence and manufactured it in Ohio until 2000, when production was exported to China to save money.

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Costco

Samsonite

Founded in Denver, Samsonite has grown from a small retailer of travel bags into one of the world’s foremost luggage manufacturing companies. The headquarters moved to Massachusetts after a change of ownership in 2005, but the company’s main branch is now located in Europe, along with a small portion of its manufacturing. Most, however, is located in Asia, with at least 40% of inventory coming from the company’s factory in India.

Brach's candy
Amazon

Brach's

Brach’s was founded in 1904, and sweets like Candy Corn and Conversation Hearts have since become inescapable throughout the year, particularly around holidays. These confections were made in Chicago until 2001, when new regulations on sugar in the United States drove up the cost of production and prompted the company to move manufacturing to Mexico.

Fender Stratocaster guitar
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Fender Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster is an influential guitar strongly associated with several icons of American music, including Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix. The recognizable six-string is still popular among musicians even now that the company’s standard models are made in Mexico. An American-made model can still be found, but for roughly double the price.

Dell
Dell

Dell

Texas-based Dell made its way to the forefront of the tech industry selling computers and related products. Unlike many competitors, it kept manufacturing facilities in the United States until 2010, when it closed a North Carolina plant that had received $280 million from the state. Production of Dell computers moved largely to Asia and Mexico.

G.I. Joe Action Figures
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G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe, the original action figure, was billed as a morally upstanding hero from various branches of the U.S. armed forces, but the Hasbro-made toy is no longer as all-American as its marketing suggests. As one of the world’s largest toy companies, Hasbro relies primarily on factories throughout Asia to produce its toys, and G.I. Joe is no exception.

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Monopoly

Monopoly is an enduringly popular American board game invented to help players understand capitalist economics. The game originated in 1903 and was owned by Parker Bros. until 1991, when the company was acquired by Hasbro. Today the plastic houses and hotels that go into each Monopoly box are manufactured in Ireland.

Black & Decker jigsaw
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Black & Decker

The portable electric drill is an American invention, first made in 1917 by Black & Decker, which was then headquartered in a small Baltimore machine shop. Now owned by Stanley Works, the company still has roots in Baltimore and a few production facilities in North America, but the vast majority of its manufacturing is conducted in China. 

Related: The 50 Greatest American Inventions of the Past 50 Years

Craftsman Drill/Driver Kit
Sears

Craftsman

Once named America’s most trusted brand, Craftsman was created by Sears to market hardware products acquired from other manufacturers. The brand advertised its “Made in the USA” pedigree until 2004, when a lawsuit accused Craftsman — now part of the merged Stanley Black & Decker — of misleading consumers about tools made with metal parts manufactured abroad. Today a select few Craftsmen products labeled as industrial are still made in America, while the remainder are manufactured overseas, though there are plans to bring some production back to the U.S.

Ford Edge
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Ford

Founded by entrepreneurial icon Henry Ford and closely associated with the Motor City of Detroit, Ford is a quintessentially American car manufacturer. It still has some unionized plants operating domestically, but like other automakers, Ford makes none of its vehicles exclusively from American parts. The Ford Edge, for example, comes from Canada while the Fusion is made in Mexico. 

Related: Muscle Memories — 15 Ford Cars That Defined a Generation

Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet

Chevrolet

Now owned by General Motors, Chevrolet is another all-American car manufacturer based in Detroit, and managed to overtake Ford as the nation’s best-selling car in the 1920s. Although its advertisements often feature patriotic music and themes, many of its most popular models, like the Blazer and Equinox, are produced at least partially in Mexico or Canada.

Related: 20 Reliable Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground

American Girl storefront
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American Girl

The American Girl brand certainly seems expensive enough to be manufactured in the United States, with each 18-inch doll priced around $100. But despite the company’s name and original focus on aspects of American history, American Girl dolls have been manufactured in Germany since the mid-1980s, even before it was acquired by Mattel, which moved production to China.

Gerber rice cereal
Amazon

Gerber

Millions of Americans were raised on Gerber baby food, a Michigan brand that today ranks as the world’s largest supplier of baby products. Now owned by the Swiss conglomerate Nestle, Gerber’s products have been manufactured overseas since its first merger, with Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in 1994.

Under Armour storefront in mall
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Under Armour

Who can forget when Under Armour burst onto the scene with its string of “Protect this House” commercials. But for an apparel brand so often clad in stars and bars, Under Armour has strayed from its Maryland roots to produce athletic gear in Asia, Central and South America, and Mexico.

Opened can of sardines
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Sardines

Sardine canning became a major American industry on both coasts in the 1950s, strongly associated with historic communities like Monterey’s Cannery Row. The industry as a whole has been in steep decline ever since, forcing the nation’s final sardine cannery, the Stinson Seafood plant in Maine, to close its doors in 2010.

Donald J. Trump Collection
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Donald J. Trump Collection

President Donald Trump has for years railed against American companies moving manufacturing facilities elsewhere, often pressuring companies like Ford and GM to keep production stateside. But his own product lines are rarely produced domestically. His “Make America Great Again” hats were, but a quick survey of his other branded merchandise reveals that much of it is produced overseas in China, Bangladesh, or Vietnam. 

Related: 24 Trump Properties Not Actually Owned by Trump