Editor's Note: More Than Just Reshoring

July 1, 2014

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The repatriation of manufacturing jobs in America is clearly based on clear-headed rather than nationalistic decision-making. Companies note that reshoring is not just about foreign wages anymore; it's about serving and reacting to markets from a closer vantage point. And it's foreign companies doing it, too.

July 4 is approaching, so it behooves me to highlight a report noting that America is now repatriating manufacturing jobs at the same rate it continues to offshore. According to the Reshoring Initiative, companies reshored 40,000 production jobs last year.

Rising foreign wages is the widely acknowledged reason for the reshoring movement, but companies are saying that's not even the top factor anymore; it's the need to have manufacturing closer to both market demand and engineering departments, so firms can redesign products or launch new ones faster. Long overseas supply chains are also a concern; right now, a hovering West Coast port strike is making offshoring companies nervous.

Yet another facet is companies are establishing U.S. manufacturing bases for the first time. Last week, for example, Italian power transmission maker Bonfiglioli and German monofilament manufacturer Wetekam separately announced new American production facilities for the same reason: to be in nimble proximity to U.S. and North American customers. Indeed, as ThomasNet News articles attest, small businesses and industry giants, foreign and domestic, are doing this, and expect "newshoring" to increasingly join the reshoring and nearshoring vernacular. American manufacturing is back, but it's clearly a multifaceted return. William Ng, Editor-in-Chief, wng@thomasnet.com.

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