Starting small; be American Smart!

We can all make a big difference upon international trade and keeping jobs in the U.S. by starting with our littlest consumers. It's our responsibility, really; just like teaching kids to look both ways before crossing the street.

Take a look at the label on that plastic pumpkin, that cute t-shirt, the bicycle attachment, the pinwheel he or she wants to carry in the town parade. Get into the habit of scrutinizing where things are made and consider your alternatives.

Every manufacturer and every department store has a customer service department as well as web-site that in theory are looking for your opinions. Let them hear from you AND your 6 year old daughter or son.

"Dear Store XYZ,
I wanted to buy a pair of tennis shoes for gym class at school; I really liked your pink ballerina character ones but then my Mom/Dad showed me the label that said they were "made in China." We know that many times children around the world have to work like slaves to make products like these tennis shoes so cheaply and it makes me really sad. I won't buy them or support a store that carries them. And you know my friend, Andy? Well, his Dad has been out of work for 2 years and we've talked about how he would really like to have a good job making shoes or notebooks for kids going back to school. Why don't you give those jobs to people in my neighborhood?"

It's out of control. We've got to go back to the basics and influence the youngest consumers who can also carry important messages of trade/commerce in the marketplace.

It may take you a few moments longer to complete your shopping but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you shopped 'American Smart.'