Subsequent to Sen. Reid’s tirade about the U. S. Olympic Team’s uniforms having been made in China, all sorts of people are showing amusing, even unseemly concern about what Harry Reid wears. As Glenn Reynolds noted, a better complaint might be that they are lame.
However, this moved me to examine my own wardrobe. Most of my regular suits, shoes, shirts, and pants are made in the United States. That’s a conscious decision on my part. I have some T-shirts that were made in El Salvador and some polo shirts that were made in Turkey, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Interestingly, the polo shirts are different colors of the same style and size, bought at roughly the same time.
My underwear was made in Haiti. I think it’s practically impossible to get underwear that’s made in the United States.
I don’t feel embarrassed about the global character of my wardrobe. We have a comparative advantage in some things but not in others. That’s the nature of trade.
If China were to stop playing currency games, I’d probably buy more stuff made in China.
I ensure that a substantial portion of my wardrobe is made in the United States for the same reason that I go to small, local stores whenever I can: because I want neighbors who run small stores and, similarly, people in the clothing business. If I don’t, everyone in my neighborhood will be a commodities trader, a banker, a professional, an undertaker, or work for the government.