Why we made a mistake by moving manufacturing to China is the subject of this blog. Now that President Trump has put tariffs on many Chinese produced products we the American consumer are about to suffer a large uptick in the cost of buying those items produced in China.
In the late 1970’s American manufacturing shifted to overseas plants that saved companies a lot of money. But no one understood then that by shifting production to places like China, our country would be the big loser in the long term. It seems that the bean counters (cost controllers) within corporate America only looked at the bottom line and saw that more money would be made by shifting production to China.
What they did not understand is by doing so our own economy would become dependent on the production output of a foreign power, one that is really not our friend. Plus by not understanding that the Chinese would steal our secrets and technology to further their own economy, we have made what just might be a fatal mistake. You must understand that a product produced for a American company during the daytime ends up being made under a Chinese company’s name at night. All without the knowledge or approval of the American company who developed the product.
I foresaw the disadvantages of overseas production early on, as I was involved with manufacturing during the 1980s. Then I saw the closing of plants here because it was cheaper to make the product in another country. The big problems then as they are now are the following facts.
One when a change order is done, with the plant being very far from the company who designed it and not directly under that same company’s control it takes a much longer time span to enact the change order. Plus someone from the company must be in residence or travel to the site where the product is manufactured. Both of these things raise the cost of production and can become an inspection headache.
Two without onsite supervision the company producing the product might cut corners in production costs by using unsafe materials and/or not completely following the specifications to save money for the overseas manufacturer.
And let us not forget that worker safety is usually not a very high priority in manufacturing plants outside of the United States.
Now that President Trump has placed tariffs on some Chinese made products we will soon see a shift of production back to the United States because it will be more economical to build products here.
We Americans must look far beyond the bottom line and take a good look a the broader picture. By shifting production to China those many years ago, we created a future crisis that could end up doing much damage to our own economy. For if the Chinese government were to stop supplying us with the consumer goods we are used to, the American consumer would find out the fact that if our government does not bow to China we will lose out on getting our products produced for us in the low costs that we are used to.
It is high time to bring production back to the United States, but it might already be too late and there is nothing we can do to prevent the Chinese government from disrupting our economy at will.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike