It’s the Fourth of July, American Independence Day, a celebration of our escape from colonization by Britain. Supporting the United States, and our way of life, cannot be summed up in an investment or an exchange traded fund(ETF), but the companies and businesses we patron can make a difference.

The day has come that we can celebrate our freedom  with our friends and family, and drink a celebratory beer while watching the fireworks. But make sure your beer was made with pride in the beautiful United States.

A topic of much recent debate, “Buy American” sounds patriotic, but it entails risk. The globalization of  markets is also part of the concern, as many of the materials and products we use to “Buy American” are actually made in China.

As stated in an editorial from The New York Times, the Democrats in Congress could not resist adding a “Buy American” provision to the fiscal stimulus bill earlier this year. It might seem sensible to ensure that taxpayer dollars would be used exclusively to support American jobs. This is creating conflict with American allies, and this movement could cost the United States.

Foreign and domestic companies that employ hundreds of workers in this country cannot bid for government projects because they cannot guarantee the American roots of all the steel, iron and manufactured goods in their supply chain, as the provision requires. Are there alternatives made in America that can replace foreign counterparts?