Fact or Fiction? Is manufacturing coming back to the U.S.?

Many factors have made manufacturing in the U.S. more appealing over the past few years. Fluctuating exchange rates make the economics better, and advanced automation takes away some of the benefits of production in low wage regions.

A number of research surveys support the notion that U.S. companies will be moving more operations back to the U.S. If the surveys are correct, it should be a good thing for the American economy. I’ve never felt that a service economy can have the strength of an economy that is diversified with manufacturing capabilities. It’s a lot easier to export a widget to Spain or Italy than for a U.S. company to perform legal services in those countries.

One challenge is that the justifications for this sort of on-shoring vary from industry to industry. Most of the research surveys have focused on large industries – in our field, there’s been little research. IPC plans to change that.

We’re currently asking member companies to participate in a focused survey. IPC’s “On-Shoring in the Electronics Industry: Trends and Outlook” will look at the impact on revenue and jobs, and explain the drivers and future outlook for this industry. Those who participate will be given full access to the report.

If that sounds appealing, you better hurry and put your two cents worth in. The survey, at www.ipc.org/on-shoring, closes May 25. That’s next Friday. Your two cents worth can provide you a lot more return, both from corporate and national perspectives.

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