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'Made in France' Is a Tough Sell—in France

The government urges citizens to buy local to preserve jobs
An employee works on a production line in Vertou, western France
An employee works on a production line in Vertou, western FrancePhotograph by Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images

On the cover of the latest Le Parisien magazine, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg poses before the French flag in a sailor’s bateau, wearing a Michel Herbelin watch and holding a Moulinex blender—all made in France. Seeking to preserve and create work in France in the face of a 10 percent jobless rate, Montebourg suggests French consumers forgo cheaper imports and greater product choice if it means more of their countrymen keep their jobs. “My priority is ‘Made in France,’ ” he said in October. “There’s a choice that’s more important than any other, and that is to preserve France’s industrial base.”