This is what happened
A few years ago I thought I'd upgrade and bought all new Kennedy toolboxes. The 'fit and finish' was terrible, the drawers were sticky and uneven and the handles were not only crooked but really cheaply made and now even the ones that were good don't stay straight. It seems the metal is not as thick as it used to be on my older Kennedy, too.
Recently I needed a new set of clamps for the vertical mill and thought that as the bolts were stripping on my import set I'd get a Teco set. The step blocks, clamps and nuts are good but the studs, while hard were so far undersized that it's difficult to screw them into the nuts without cross-threading. When the price and quality are compared it's a toss-up as to which set is better.
This is what happened
Frankly I doubt that, I'm from Canada and that is not the kind of work I see done in my shop or any other I know of. I think it's a lot more likely that, at least in the case of the studs, that they were imported from China or wherever and there was no quality control either there or after they were recieved. Maybe the Kennedy was made in Mexico and that's your complaint about NAFTA but even then, where was the quality control? For the clamp kit, everything was good EXCEPT the studs and in my cheap import kit nothing was great but nothing was as bad as the TECO studs either.
Company hq in US or Canada; product engineering/design dept. instructed to design for cheap; Mfg. plant in China or????????????; QC is nowhere in between. No receiving inspection, drop ship to avoid re-distribution costs.
If you want the "good goods", you have to make them yourself or fix what you bought.
There are two sides to this problem: One is the companies that cut corners and reduce metal gauge to improve their bottom line. The other is customers who buy based entirely on price meaning that companies who do try to market a good product find their sales go to zero due to low cost competition.
An open mind is a virtue...so long as all the common sense has not leaked out.
I just had a revelation that nobody knows about LOL.
What if North American customers bought North American products instead of cheap junk? How's that for original thought? I know, you heard that one before. But you didn't pay attention to it.