Today’s Wall Street Journal article, “Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to U.S. Plants”, detailed the growing “reshoring” trend in manufacturing as more and more companies are deciding to bring facilitates and jobs back from overseas. This trend is another indicator of the positive manufacturing activity we’ve seen over the past several months.
The article highlighted several manufacturers that have collectively created a few thousand positions here in the U.S. as a result of returning certain work.
“U.S. manufacturing has become attractive for some companies as Asian wages have surged over recent years and the wage gap between the U.S. and China has narrowed. The drop in the dollar over the past decade has also made U.S.-produced goods more competitive. And higher oil prices have increased the cost of shipping goods across oceans, making domestic manufacturing more appealing.”
Even with these positive indicators, manufacturers are still finding that it is 20 percent more expensive to do business in the U.S. compared to our major trading partners. Companies are deciding on a case-by-case basis where it makes more financial sense for them to manufacture.
Manufacturers have added 167,000 net new jobs over just the past five months and 489,000 since January 2010. But we must do more. We need polices to help level the playing field to enable manufacturers to export more. We need a predictable and consistent tax code, an “all of the above” energy strategy, and a highly skilled workforce. These are just some policy changes that will help keep manufacturers in the U.S competitive, allowing them to grow and create new jobs.
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