When one surfer hippie proves lung disease from his Santa Cruz beach shack water heater, California will pass a proposition that will go federal in 3 years.
We legislate lead from the US manufacturers, but never open a container of poison from China at the port. So how CAN they compete? Our manufacturers are not the dodo's, its the feds who do not protect them with our "one world of trade". Good on them, IF they pay to inspect the imports to standard. No one has the balls to turn a few thousand containers around - that would get some attention, and suddenly the incoming parts would be costing the same as the US version.
Thus, despite all the outsourcers’ talk of booming markets in China and other low-income countries, Aeppel writes of a heater manufacturer returning production from China back to Kentucky to cut the cost of shipping to its American customers. And of electronics outsourcer par excellence Emerson bringing Asian production to Mexico and back to the United States to save on supplying their “North American” (read “overwhelmingly U.S.”) customers. And of a pump-maker transferring foundry work to Indiana from China “because the cost of transport overseas” – to U.S. customers – “was the straw that broke the camel’s back.” And so on.
It would have been nice had the piece also observed that the idea of moving factories thousands of miles from their customers didn’t come out of nowhere. Rather, U.S. trade policy made this strategy a no-brainer – at least until the oil price spike. Moreover, the need to junk today’s outsourcing-friendly trade arrangements remains as strong as ever. After all, China in particular has ruthlessly sought to monopolize ever more of the world’s manufacturing. Will Beijing really sit back and let a trifle like haywire global energy markets stand in its way?
Source: “Stung by Soaring Transport Costs, Factories Bring Jobs Home Again,” by Timothy J. Aeppel, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2008Trying to persuade locked-out workers in Canada to accept a sharp cut in pay, Caterpillar Inc. is citing lower wages elsewhere. But instead of pointing to the usual models of cheap and pliant labor, such as China or Mexico, it is using a more surprising example: the U.S.
Wage and benefit costs at a Caterpillar rail-equipment plant in LaGrange, Ill., are less than half of those at the company's locomotive-assembly plant in London, Ontario, Caterpillar says.
The big equipment maker's stance illustrates how U.S. manufacturing, until recently given up for dead by many Americans, has become more competitive globally. Though ...
This from last week, 3 major factories relocating to the US because of transportation, fuel cost and even labor costs in other countries including China, mexico and Canada.