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Weaverville company says more companies paying patriotic premium to make goods in the USA

On Made In America Week, A-B Emblem of Weaverville says there's a red, white, and blue resurgence of companies focused on manufacturing here in the US. (Photo credit: John Le, WLOS)

President Trump's Made in the America Week drew criticism from those who point out his products are foreign-made.

RELATED | White House showcases products from every state for 'Made in America' week

Despite the divided political landscape, A-B Emblem points to an economic trend that's less controversial.

"We're seeing a resurgence of made in the United States," co-CEO Andrew Nagle said.

Nagle said more companies seem willing to pay a patriotic premium to have patches made in Weaverville.

"LL Bean, REI, and the Girl Scouts all in the last 18 months have come back with made in the USA requirements," he told News 13.

That's despite the fact that labor rates here are up to six times higher than in Mexico and China.

The sixth-generation company has been part of the nation's fabric since 1963, with clients including the U.S. Army and NASA. Nagle said more veterans are starting businesses with a focus on manufacturing at home.

"We've got several large clients who came back and started their own business, and they are diehard made in America," he said.

Meanwhile, at IFB Solutions the focus on America comes with the territory. They've got 100 workers in Asheville, making products for the military.

"One great thing is that we are not only making products in the United States, we are making them with legally and totally blind individuals that typically may not have a job," said Operations Director Randy Buckner, who explained the unemployment rate for the visually impaired is up to 70 percent.

"I think it's important to have products made in America. A lot of it's gone overseas," said Chuck Gilbert, who completely lost his vision in his late 20's.

Made in America Week comes at a troubling time for American discourse. Even so, Nagle said, no matter what side of the aisle you're on, a national conversation is vital to the economy.

"I think getting the word out that there's still manufacturing in the United States," he said, "that's a really important component of it."

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