published Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Labor secretary hazy on 'American-made products'

It can be a little tricky these days to say exactly where a particular car was built.

Many "foreign" car manufacturers make a lot of their cars in the United States -- an obvious example being our local Volkswagen manufacturing plant. The German company employs thousands of local workers, who are turning out hundreds of VW Passats daily.

And U.S. car companies build some of their vehicles outside our borders as well.

But if anyone in America would know what cars are made where, you would think it would be U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Unfortunately, she seems to be as much in the dark about the origins of particular makes and models as many of the rest of us are.

Solis recently attended a gathering in Washington at which she boasted of driving an American-made vehicle, a Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUV.

"What better example could I set if I encouraged my staff to go and purchase and seek how we could acquire a vehicle that would ... send a signal that we're for supporting our American workers, American-made products ...?" she told a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor.

There was just one problem, though. As pointed out by U.S. News & World Report, the Equinox "is built and assembled in Canada from parts also made in Canada."

We don't question anyone's choice in driving a "foreign" versus an "American" vehicle.

But perhaps buying a vehicle made in Canada, with parts manufactured in Canada, isn't the ideal way for the U.S. labor secretary to show her support for "American-made products."

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