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Being a consumer in Germany is a lot different from being a consumer in the U.S. Instead of living in a country with a $34 billion trade deficit, we now live in a country with a $24 billion trade surplus. The numbers may not say a lot, but try going shopping for household items in Germany and you will be amazed at how many goods are produced here. My new bed was made in Germany, along with my new toaster and coffee pot. My daughter’s flat-iron is a German product and so are the book bags my husband and I have purchased.

get-attachment-2.aspxThe Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about the U.S. Treasury’s renewed “criticism of the German economy’s dependence on foreign exports.”  I’m sure there are downsides to a large trade surplus, but I bet all those foreign consumers are as happy as I am with the high quality of their German-made products. I especially like my new Melitta coffee pot. I thought Melitta was an American company until I recently discovered that the company was founded by a housewife from Dresden who invented the first paper coffee filter in 1908.

Living in Germany has meant fewer dilemmas about spending a great deal more money to avoid products that are made in China. Most German products are not only high quality, they are also affordable. For someone who left almost all of their household goods back in Montana, it’s now a pleasure to “buy local.”