Made in America
If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably noticed the same thing I have—U.S. manufacturing is on the rise. Like the latest Katy Perry song, The Avengers and any news involving the Jolie-Pitt family, “Made in America” is hot. Large American companies are either bringing manufacturing back home or they are deciding not to move overseas in the first place. Case in point: General Electric recently decided against building a “green” refrigerator plant in Asia. Switching gears entirely, the company invested nearly $100 million to refurbish an existing plant in Indiana.
TV manufacturing also is coming home. This quintessentially produced-overseas product has found its way back to U.S. soil through the company Element Electronics, which is making 46" and up flat-screen TVs in the once car-manufacturing mecca of Michigan.
One financial news source noted the global economic chessboard is shifting due to oil prices and rising shipping costs forcing companies to look at moving production closer to the point of sale. Combine these factors with Chinese workers demanding higher wages and stiffer product safety regulations (which are difficult to monitor inside overseas plants), and it becomes clearer why American companies are coming home.
The meaningful question here is will this domestic movement expand, and ultimately, will it last? American companies have proven their resilience over the course of the last four years. With manufacturers bringing work home, does it become our responsibility as distributors and consumers to keep the trend going, bringing these products to our clients and into our homes? Is it time to take a peek at what is actually written on the label?
Like many of you, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to see what happens to a small town when manufacturing moves overseas and jobs are lost. While I feel certain the global economy will continue to expand and create overseas opportunities far into the future, there is still a solid and respectable seat at the table for American manufacturing. But as with everything in life, striking a balance is key. As distributors and consumers of products, maintaining this balance will require a distinct mindfulness when making purchases. Considering today’s financial realities, supporting the “manufacturing troops” is a responsibility we all share, so we can once again create a bustling Main Street of opportunity.