Call it a reversal of fortune – the outflow of manufacturing and manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to China has shifted back on itself, and a wave of manufacturing has come back our way.
What’s caused this change in the weather? Well for one thing, the renminbi has been struggling, and global investors are looking to China to come up with some sort of stimulus package that will shore up the renminbi’s value. Part of that stimulus package is the reshoring of manufacturing jobs.
Why the U.S.? Surely China has its own domestic labor pool. Yes it does, but that particular pool is lacking in technical innovations, engineering know-how, and specific skill sets that the U.S. labor pool possesses. So here we are, suddenly the envy of Chinese factory workers everywhere.
But what does it mean? Well, for one thing, it’s a huge shot in the arm to advocacy groups that have been decrying U.S. offshoring for decades. Jobs coming back to the States are a welcome, if unexpected, trend. And there are a lot of them — one advocacy group believes that 100,000 jobs were added thanks to Chinese-backed companies last year alone.
Is there a downside? Potentially, yes. The Chinese companies that so covet our knowledge and abilities might simply learn what we know and how we do what we do and take it back home again. It’s certainly a possibility, but there’s a way to stay ahead of that. If we continue to innovate and keep ahead of the learning curve, Chinese companies will have no choice but to keep reshoring jobs. And that’s good news for everyone.
Written by: S. Boudreault