Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How can online Marketspaces support Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" Initiatives?

President Trump pushes for changes in where American's sit in the employment hierarchy by signing an executive order that tightens rules around visas targeting foreign high tech workers as well as restricting foreign companies from bidding on federal contracts. He is pushing forward his "Buy American, Hire American" agenda by enacting new rules. It seems we can expand this idea to include easy to find American products to boost the economy through online sales.

Lets first consider the two major changes....

Shortages in the labor market, as they relate to high-technology workers, is self-made and can be corrected by training and hiring more workers. From higher education to corporate training shortages of technology workers can be adjusted to produce more competitive actors. It may take time but preferring them in hiring may tip the scales in favor of pushing technology as an attractive career path.

In the world heightened corporate theft, electronic spying and global shifts it is beneficial to keep federal contracts within the country. The amounts of money and type of work are important for American workers to get a solid chance to obtain it. Companies will need to incorporate government needs into their service offerings.

There will be cases where this is not possible. Sometimes American companies may not have the skills needed to fulfill these contracts but it would give them an incentive to develop the competencies. Having an available pool of contract money encourages them to go after it.

Why should we encourage easy to find "American made" search components....

I think these policies are a start as government mandated processes are powerful but don't essentially encourage the buying of American products from an organic level. Approximately 70% of our economy runs off consumer purchases. The economic benefits to the country could increase if products are purchased in the U.S. in ways that employ American workers.

According to Mintel’s Online Shopping US 2015 Report, approximately two-thirds of adults shop online every month. The largest sections of purchases are clothing/accessories, electronics, and games, toys and school supplies. These are hot markets that would benefit from a "Made in America" searchable button.

There is more companies can do to generate natural interest in American products. Primarily, they need to make these products easy to find and differentiate. If the average consumer can't find American products they won't buy them.  Most don't read the small print and it would be unfair to expect them to do this online. It costs them too much time and effort to find our products.

I would like to see companies like Amazon, eBay, and other marketplaces offer a "Buy American" tab on their site that would allow businesses to include their products as "American made" so people can easily find them. I tried searching for American made products and couldn't find solid places to browse these products.

Government regulations help in some situations but these are unsustainable without a long-term adjustment in the consumer market that leads to job growth and retention of American spending capital. If you want companies to truly hire American and increase job opportunities, you will also need to increase access to American products. Creating an easy to find "Buy American" button on popular marketplaces makes this process much easier in a way that could lead to significant economic expansion.

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