From "That 'Made in U.S.A. Premium," NYTimes, 2013.11.30. Emphasis mine.
“A while back, we thought we’d stick little American flags on the products made in America,” said Frank Blake, chairman and chief executive of Home Depot. He said he had figured, based on the prevailing marketing wisdom, that customers would flock to the items. “But whatever segment really cares about it doesn’t make much difference from a retail perspective.”
So retailers are focusing on the quality when trying to justify the higher cost of American goods. The exception to Mr. Blake’s rule comes when buyers are willing to pay more for perceived quality. A majority of consumers, rich and poor, say they believe that American-made products have higher quality than imports, according to the Times survey. Fifty-six percent of those making more than $100,000 said so, as did 67 percent of those making less than $50,000.
Lands’ End promotes its American manufacturers as “the highest-quality companies, working with vendors and artisans.” New Balance says its American products are made by “highly skilled craftsmen.” At L. L. Bean, bags are “still made by us here in Maine from practically indestructible cotton canvas.”
“With higher-end fashion goods, where it’s made is an identifying source of quality,” said Anthony Dukes, an associate professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. “But at the lower end, I don’t get a sense that people pay too much attention to where it’s made.”