SOURCE: Amplitude Research

October 19, 2007 09:00 ET

Amplitude Research/University of Michigan - Dearborn Survey of 1,000 Consumers Reveals Americans' Perception of 'Made in China' Products

BOCA RATON, FL and DEARBORN, MI--(Marketwire - October 19, 2007) -


--  While a majority (55.2%) agree with banning imports from China until
    safety can be assured, 53.6% agree that banning Chinese made products would
    cause problems for U.S. economy.
    
--  While only 35.4% of consumers agree that they can recognize products
    made in China when shopping, 47.8% note that they have stopped buying some
    products after discovering they are manufactured in China.
    
--  61.1% agree that because of the sheer number of products made in
    China, avoiding buying these products is not possible.
    

When asked who is primarily to blame for safety issues on imported products from China, one in three survey respondents (33.6%) selected U.S. companies that import or resell products made in China for failing to adequately test these products. Only 12.6% of 1,000 consumers identified the Chinese government for lack of adequate policing, and only 8.2% pointed the finger at the U.S. government. Meanwhile, 45.6% of the survey respondents selected "There is enough blame to go around for all concerned." The U.S. consumers were surveyed in early October as part of a study conducted by Amplitude Research and the University of Michigan - Dearborn.

Only one in five of the consumers surveyed (19.4%) felt that recent news stories on the quality and safety of Chinese imports are unfairly portraying China as the biggest offender.

"Statistical analysis of the data from our survey of 1,000 consumers showed that older consumers rate the safety of China-made products lower than younger consumers, while women and older consumers tended more so than males and younger consumers to take the stance that the U.S. should ban all imports of products made in China until their safety can be assured," said Steve Birnkrant, CEO of Amplitude Research.

According to the survey findings, 83.2% of consumers agreed that laws should be passed requiring adequate testing of all imported products for safety. This question resulted in the highest level of agreement among respondents of all questions on the survey.

Thomas J. Callahan, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, said: "The consumers paid attention to the questions and answered them thoughtfully. We know this from factor analysis of respondent data, a statistical method that gives credibility to the quality of consumers' responses. We are excited by the quality of the data."

As thoughtful as the survey respondents were in answering the questions, there were also indications that American consumers are lacking in their understanding of which countries export certain products to the United States. For example, China, Canada and Thailand are by far the three largest exporters of seafood to the United States. To test respondent knowledge of country of origin, respondents were asked to identify the top two seafood exporters to the United States. Overall recognition was reasonably good with regard to Canada (38.5% recognition) and China (48.2% recognition). However, 47.3% of the respondents identified Japan and 20.7% identified Norway as top-two seafood exporters when in fact these two countries comprise small percentages of the export market. Only 15.6% identified Thailand as a top exporter.

Inability to recognize country of origin was further exhibited by responses to questions about ease of recognition for specific product groupings such as cars, tires, toothpaste, toys and large appliances. Only cars had more than 50% recognition with less than a third of the respondents agreeing that it is easy to determine country of origin for tires (24%), toothpaste (27.4%), and large appliances (30.2%). "It's safe to say that as a country we could be better educated regarding which countries are responsible for exporting to the U.S. specific kinds of products," noted Professor Callahan.

The study was conducted by Amplitude Research over the period October 5th to October 9th 2007 among its nationwide consumer web panel and had 1,000 total survey respondents with a margin of error of +/-3.0% at the 95% confidence level. Note to Media: To obtain a summary of the results, contact Michael Krems of Krems Public Relations at krems@kremspr.com.

About Amplitude Research.

Amplitude Research® (www.amplituderesearch.com) is a privately owned survey research organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, with blue chip clients located throughout the United States and Canada. Amplitude combines its powerful survey platform, experienced survey administration, high-quality sample, and advanced reporting to deliver Loud and Clear™ results. Its leadership team has over 30 years of combined experience in quantitative survey research, and is supported by its experienced staff of survey design experts, statisticians, project managers and IT professionals.

Amplitude's nationwide consumer panel (www.panelspeak.com) was formed in early 2002 and is growing at the rate of 4,000 sign-ups per month. Sign-up demographics include over 100 different targeted selects. Amplitude's proprietary panel management software applies seven distinct quality checks to filter sign-up information, including automated address verifications. Amplitude's survey engine also deploys timers on questionnaires to track individual respondent completion times.

All surveys are programmed and hosted by Amplitude Research® using its proprietary, multi-language platform supporting a myriad of question types. The name "Amplitude" Research and its tagline "loud and clear" signify Amplitude's commitment to high-quality reporting with clear and concise presentation of the findings.

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