Frequent readers of this blog know I have a special interest in the economic and political development of China especially as it relates to the United States. China has well over a billion people, is rapidly modernizing their economy, and developing into a world power. We have all watched an erosion of manufacturing in this country as jobs and manufacturing capacity moved to the far East and especially China. Since China is a major emerging market for our exports as well as a formidable competitor, I believe it is in our interest to understand the implications of their development. I have recently found a couple of articles that present a new view of our place in a world-wide manufacturing market.
After years of outsourcing manufacturing and production, many large companies are moving manufacturing operations back to the United States. They are starting to fully understand the risks of long distance supply chains. Some developing countries are rapidly losing their competitive advantage on labor prices. There are intellectual property issues associated with state of the art technology transfers to developing countries. The work place environment and work rules in the United States are rapidly becoming some of the most competitive in the world. The United states is on track to be the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. The result of these transformational changes are making the United States a much more attractive place to make things.
The Insourcing Boom describes the experience of General Electric as they move their appliance manufacturing business from China to Louisville. It is a real story of hope for our country and for Michigan’s manufacturing base. Mr. China Comes to America describes how the compressed development time from idea to prototype to finished good is best completed in the United States. This is particularly important trend in the rapidly changing technological product business.
Take the time to read these articles. I think they might help you look beyond the current political rhetoric and recognize some new opportunities closer to home. We might be on the verge of a transformational time in our economic development.
Read the article, Mr. China Comes to America