The US has continuously raised the issue of increasing “Made in China” products over the 1970’s up until the first decade in the twentieth century. On the other hand, how can one really blame US manufacturers that are putting the assembly of their products offshore? At the end of the day, any kind of business from whichever industry is inclined to minimize its cost – and one major way to do that is to decrease the labor cost in making products.
Around year 2010, it reached to a point where most products bought in the United States are no longer made domestically but in China – its top competitor when it comes to manufacturing products. As such, politicians usually made this issue a priority in their campaign. This has been a common topic in the election debate and whoever between the candidates for presidency gives the more favorable answer to the problem most likely increased public support as well. Hence, there are no several movements to bring the labor back to Americans.
Since US leaders have always been vocal about this concern, the public is also made aware of the gravity of buying products that are made in the United States. This promoted the movement even more. This in a sense may be attributed to the collective efforts of American Citizens to support the American economy by supporting their own products, in other words, nationalism. In the recent trump administration news, Trump has expressed his intentions to uplift the manufacturing sector of the United States to become even more competitive compared to that of China. He even declined the Transpacific Partnership with the intention to protect the US workforce to losing their jobs to manufacturing companies who may be in the US market but putting their factories offshore.
Over the past years, during Obama’s administration, efforts to bring back the jobs to Americans are manifested in a holistic manner, meaning not only directly discouraging the manufacturers to reshore in the US but also accompanying this with a strong research and development support and improvement in education. Technology is vital in the progress of the manufacturing sector as this will entail increased productivity. One may ask about the counter-productivity in terms of increasing the number of jobs, but this is not necessarily true if the minds behind these innovative machines are also Americans.
In as much as it is important to make sure there are jobs to fill, it is also equally important to raise the level of quality of the jobs available together with the improvement in education. This sets the challenge to the US to produce more American Engineers who will be able to work throughout the manufacturing process from design to down to productivity optimization.
Today, talking about competitiveness in the manufacturing sector may not only pertain to the number of jobs given to the citizens but the quality of jobs as well – the complexity of making a product. To take Apple as an example, the new motto is to design in California and also assemble in the United States. Mac Pro is now being manufactured in Austin, Texas, as opposed to its original location in China. On a side note, the increase in Salary in Asia will also mean that for some manufacturing companies it will be best to put up a facility in the US and hire local people too, compared to shipping overseas assembled products to the United States and compensate for the increased cost of labor. Finally, there are several advantages of making products on shore, ones which manufacturers are realizing now, like keeping a close distance to the market and faster delivery of goods.