REBIRTH OF DOMESTIC US MANUFACTURING
This Washington Post article touches on a few predictions we’ve been discussing. First, manufacturers will begin manufacturing in the US again instead of overseas. An increase in fuel and transportation costs creates a significant expense correlation between where you manufacture the product and where you sell the product. As the article states, in the case of high-tech manufacturing, “…cost lies in buying chips, and many of those are made in the U.S.” It follows then that the balance of manufacturing and assembly should be done near the chips instead of shipping the chips abroad and returning them again later in the product.
“…Apple chose to produce their products in places like China, not because of the lower costs associated with it, but because the manufacturing skills required just aren’t present in the U.S. anymore.” I don’t buy this. Those skills were present in the United States as recently as 2004. Those skills are still here. They have not been utilized because companies have chased cost control around the globe instead of focusing on cost control here at home where they could have realized much greater success and efficiencies.
“…machining of cases and printing of circuit boards could take place in the U.S.” This is exciting news that will bode well for US labor. It is a terrific opportunity with a company as sizable as Apple to begin production of almost every component in the computer and including the assembly in the United States. And workers are better protected in the United States. The article noted Apple’s overseas manufacturing partner “…faced significant criticism this year over working conditions at the Chinese facilities where Apple products are assembled, prompting Foxconn to raise salaries.” Fortunately, this will not be tolerated in the US and hopefully momentum will be carried to more livable wages for the working man and woman.