'Made in America' more attractive to manufacturers
Four years after the height of the financial crisis, marked by a drastic drop in salaries, the
Out on the campaign trail ahead of the November 6 elections, President Barack Obama has picked up on the point to convince voters that the
"After years of undercutting the competition, now it's getting more expensive to do business in places like
"American workers are getting more and more efficient. Companies located here are becoming more and more competitive. So for a lot of businesses, it's now starting to make sense to bring jobs back home."
According to a Boston Consulting Group survey and referenced by Obama, 48 percent of executives at companies with $10 billion or more in revenues said they plan to bring back production to the United States from China -- or are considering it.
Officials at 106 firms from a range of industries responded to the poll, released in April.
"Companies are realizing that the economics of manufacturing are swinging in favor of the
With weeks to go before balloting begins, both the president and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have taken aim at
Romney has vowed a much tougher line on
Obama has renewed his charge that Romney, as a multimillionaire businessman at his private equity firm Bain Capital, was an early pioneer in advising American corporations to outsource blue collar jobs to low wage economies overseas.
Politics aside, the tendency to relocate is a multi-year process centered on growth prospects in the
And not to be forgotten is the prospect of cheap and abundant energy thanks to a shale gas boom in the
Among those who have made the move are construction equipment maker Terex and Agco, a manufacturer of agricultural machines, according to Fleck.
Even giants such as General Electric and Caterpillar, while they may not have reduced their production in
"Since 2009, GE has announced plans to create more than 15,500 American jobs and is building 15 new factories in the
He noted that the firm had added 10,000 jobs last year alone.
The high yen and the risks posed by great geographic distances at the heart of the production chain -- highlighted by disruptions caused by the 2011 earthquake in
Caterpillar has "reduced production capacity in
Salary cuts in a number of sectors aimed at preserving jobs, especially in the car industry, have also prompted large American businesses to repatriate production from
It remains to be seen how this apparent new trend will play out in the long run.
Some, such as French economist Evariste Lefeuvre, are taking a somewhat sarcastic stance for now.