The Great Christmas Challenge: Shopping local - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

The Great Christmas Challenge: Shopping local

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

It's Christmas time in Wausau. That means thousands of shoppers, and countless shopping bags. But, how much of what we buy is made in America?

We asked shoppers at Wausau Center Mall to open up their bags and find out.

Chad Baltz had just purchased two pairs of gloves from JC Penny. As we take out a pair of gloves, we check the tag. "Made in China," Baltz said. "Not surprising."

In the 1960s, 9 out of 10 holiday gifts purchased were made in America. Today, more than half is imported. 

In fact, new numbers reveal last year at Christmas Americans spent $2.5 billion just on toys made in China.

"That means we must be spending 10 billion or more during the Christmas season on Chinese-made goods. And that's probably a low number,' Chief Economist Hal Sirkin said.

But, some shoppers say they're on a mission to shop local.

John Schroeder and is wife just purchased two pillows.

"I always check the labels," Schroeder says. And what do you know? His pillows are made in the U.S.A. 

"If everyone spent more money on American products it would create more jobs," Schroeder explained.

It certainly would. Economists say that if we all spent just $64 on gifts made in America, we could create 200,000 new jobs right here at home.

So, with that in mind, we asked shoppers, are you in? 

"Will you commit to buying a product made in the U.S." I asked shoppers at Wausau Center Mall. "Yeah, I could be in."

"Are you in?" "I'm in."

They're in, to invest in something bigger than just gifts under the tree.

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