I often hear from others and even find myself saying "I’d pay more for a version of product X if it were made in the U.S." According to this Forbes piece by Steve Denning, most companies couldn’t manufacture or even design a lot products here, even if they wanted to. The facilities and know-how all got shipped overseas along with the jobs and money.
One example that struck me:
The lithium battery for GM’s [GM] Chevy Volt is being manufactured in South Korea. Making it in the U.S. wasn’t feasible: rechargeable battery manufacturing left the US long ago.
Some efforts are being made to resurrect rechargeable battery manufacture in the U.S., such as the GE-backed [GE] A123Systems, but it’s difficult to go it alone when much of the expertise is now in Asia.
Interesting, given that my neighbor here in Franklin, TN—Nissan—will be manufacturing the batteries for the Leaf in near-by Symrna, TN (one of their larger plants in N.A.) by next year. I think it is far too early to make any claims as to the viability of one choice over the other, as both cars just hit the market and production lines have probably yet to even hit any sort of regularity. However, that seems to be a glaring hole in the argument that batteries, at least, cannot be made in the states.
Or, on the other hand, it may soon serve to prove that point. Only time will tell. I, for one, am rooting on Nissan to make it work.