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Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Vortex Tools analyzes the terms that make up the world—the cliché, the misunderstood, and the “don’t tell your mama” variety—and how they play in today’s society. Although “Made in the U.S.A.” used to be a term you didn’t need defined, it isn’t as straightforward as it once was.

As a company, Vortex Tools strives to use American labor and American parts assembled in, you guessed it, America. I should be able to cover this statement in that little phrase known as “Made in the U.S.A.,” but it doesn’t mean what it used to. Put it this way: Even a good slab of American flags aren’t made in America anymore.

I took a trip to Mexico over the summer, crossing over the border at El Paso, Texas. (Fear not, this is not a post on illegal immigration — wherever you stand on the issue.) In chatting with people on both sides of the border, I asked what they did for work. A number of those in Juarez took a white bus — buses that are all over down there — to work in American factories just across the border. This way, the factories get cheap labor and still get to stamp “Made in the U.S.A.” on the box.

Now I don’t think this is what the average consumer assumes “Made in the U.S.A.” means, but considering Japanese automaker Toyota is more American than the classic American Ford brand these days, should these assumptions change?

American Made: One more gimmick?

I’ve seen the sign that reads, “Whenever possible, we use American products and labor” and while there are times that being patriotic isn’t feasible in every area of a business model, the skeptic in me has come to believe that the “possible” in the previous statement often means “preferable.” I’ve even heard of companies importing cheap foreign parts and putting them together stateside, so that “Made in the U.S.A.” is tweaked to mean “Assembled in the U.S.A.”

“American Made” doesn’t have to equate to a more expensive product either. I read an article discussing how generic brands are more likely American made than brand names — check the labels — but I can’t find the article to link it. (Typing the term “generic” into a search engine seems to pop up nothing but a slew of off-brand Viagra.)

Regardless of what other businesses are doing, the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies keep “Made in the U.S.A.” as straightforward as possible. With the President, Alan Miller, believing that he’s Scottish by birth, yet American by choice — therefore having a responsibility to give back to the country that gave him opportunity — the philosophy goes from the top of the businesses on down. With the continued economic woes, we also try to give interim jobs to people who are hurting financially. For any limitations or additional costs we incur, this just seems like good business to us.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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