A year of pandemic-driven shortages of vital safety goods and medicines – not to mention consumer items like bikes and electronics – has not made Americans more willing to pay extra for U.S.-made goods.
Yet a large majority think the government should do so.
A new Reuters-Ipsos poll found 63% of Americans want U.S. agencies to buy American-made products in general, even if they cost significantly more, and 62% think the government should strictly buy U.S.-made vaccines. That enthusiasm dims a bit when it comes to other types of safety equipment, such as face masks: a majority, 53%, agree it is fine to buy personal protective equipment – or PPE – from foreign sources, while 41% disagreed.
The poll shows a longstanding contradiction: Americans like the idea of buying American goods – but not if it means paying more personally for it.
It also underscores a challenge facing the Biden administration, which has vowed to bolster manufacturers of crucial safety goods and pharmaceuticals as part of its larger push to revive the U.S. factory sector.