Manufacturers Bringing Business (And Jobs) Back To America
The revival in manufacturing in America's heartland has been driven in part by the increasing costs associated with importing goods from China, India and other Asian nations where labor has traditionally been cheap.
With the cost of oil rising and a weak dollar eating into profits, many manufacturers are finding the U.S. a more attractive destination to make things -- not just sell them.
Beyond mere economics, attitudes are also changing. Some U.S. manufacturers are bringing business back to America to ensure consistent, high quality products, a outcome that some business owners find is increasingly difficult to achieve in China.
"Everybody knew you could get anything made in China, and make money on it back in the United States. But things are changing," business owner Bill Green told MSNBC during his recent visit to a factory in Dongguan. "Prices are going up, and it's making it harder to import stuff from here."
For Green, a maker of industrial cabinets and lamps, inconsistent quality at the Chinese factory means that he'll be shifting final assembly of his cabinets back to his plant in Mobile, Ala., while lamp production will mostly be divided between the U.S. and India.
It's attitudes -- and decisions -- such as Green's that are leading some analysts to question whether China's days as the manufacturer of the world's goods is fast coming to a close.
Read more about MSNBC's look into the future of manufacturing in China: China's Soaring Costs Could Help American Jobs
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. Follow David on Twitter. Email David at email@example.com. Add David to your Google+ circles.more...