Bringing back 'Made in USA'

Updated: 2015-01-30 12:04

By Paul Welitzkin(China Daily USA)

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Reshoring estimates

"Back in 2010, we projected that it (reshoring) wouldn't really get started until 2015. That's because it takes time for a company to consider all of the factors on where to locate a plant. Our estimate is that reshoring will bring around 2.5 million to 5 million jobs to the US over the next five-plus years," said Hal Sirkin, senior partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group and a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

In its third annual online survey of senior level US manufacturing executives from companies with at least $1 billion in yearly revenue, Boston Consulting found last year that more than half of the 252 respondents (54 percent) are considering bringing production back to the US, a 20 percent increase in the number that are actively reshoring now.

Even though reshoring has gained some traction, it doesn't mean that US firms will abandon China and its manufacturing sector completely.

Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, an industry-funded nonprofit based in Kildeer, Illinois, that promotes US manufacturing, said that the US is now more competitive with China in manufacturing.

"The US is competitive with some products but not all products. The US is competitive for products that are sold in the US, but not competitive for products sold in China or Asia. US labor costs are still higher (4 to 5 times) than in China, but US productivity is higher, which makes up a lot of the labor difference," he told China Daily.

Ferrise of Miller Manufacturing said many factors have to be considered when outsourcing to China or any other foreign country.

"For example, what does it cost to qualify a supplier in China, what will you do if there is a delay in shipping or if there is a longshoreman's strike and customs always has the potential to become an adventure," he told China Daily.