Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trading Lunches

With the new school year beginning, many families are looking for new lunchboxes. They have a lot of choices.
One option is recyclable bags, thermoses, and wrappers. The Reusable Bags website offers all these, including stainless steel drink containers and sandwich wraps that take the place of plastic sandwich bags.
The products they offer are appealing, but as I looked through the website, I was concerned to learn that many of them are manufactured in China. I'm glad China has developed a thriving economy, but I'd like to have a choice. The website makes a point of reporting that while they'd like to buy American-made product, they can't do it in a cost-effective way.
The website also emphasizes that they check in on the factories where product is made to be sure they adhere to safety and personnel policies.
I'm not familiar enough with the intricacies of trade policy to comment much. I understand there are issues of life safety, product safety, labor practices, material costs, trade balances and fair trade practices that affect our ability to keep manufacturing plants open and running efficiently.
I just know I'd like to buy safe, well-made products made in the United States at a price I can afford. And surely there are answers to these concerns that will allow our grandchildren to find good jobs in this country when they grow up.

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