The fact is that our trade and economic policies – or lack thereof – are the primary cause of stagnant manufacturing growth in this country. We in and of manufacturing find ourselves in an environment of two camps, vying on many fronts for supremacy & influence.
And, these days, it sure seems like the inmates are running the asylum.
The passions run deep. Home-commuting advocates cite growing numbers of ‘homies’ and reports of improved productivity. While opponents of telecommuting point to the loss of corporate control, a lack of accountability, and reduced one-on-one collaboration &, in turn, innovation.
I am struck by the similarities between this debate and the reshoring of manufacturing to the US from overseas in response to offshoring it in the first place.
Man, life is rich, ain’t it?
Let’s dissect this issue and transpose those elements to reshoring, and you’ll see what I mean.
Sometimes, it’s hard to decide who to help and when. Often, we have to turn someone or something away in order to support ourselves, our own, and the causes we care most about.
But, to me, this one’s a no-brainer.
On January 30th, 2013, a powerful storm front moved through the southern US and wreaked havoc on communities from Arkansas to the East Coast. Within the front, a massive tornado formed in northern Georgia. In it’s path was Daiki, a metal fabricating shop located in Adairsville, about 60 miles north of Atlanta.
Today, Daiki is barely here.
I find the comparison between those that off-shored manufacturing from the US and those that leave their home countries to avoid taxes awfully compelling.
Actually, it’s not the motivations behind their actions I find so interesting; it’s the contradictory responses of government & politicians toward both tactics that I find ironic.
Now, I know that unpredictable behavior by governments & politicians aren’t news. But what I’m seeing, I believe, speaks volumes about control, intentions, and who was responsible for moving our production & innovation bases to low cost countries in the first place.
I’d like to wish everyone in the United States – whether you’re affiliated directly with manufacturing or not – a very happy 1st anniversary.
Well, it’s not exactly a happy one … but it HAS been one year since the President established the White House’s Office of Manufacturing Policy (OMP). This office was established in conjunction with replacing then-outgoing ‘manufacturing czar’ Ron Bloom with two co-chairs of this new office. Not one czar – two. Heading up an Office of Manufacturing Policy. Think on that one for a minute .
And still, we have no meaningful signs of a comprehensive manufacturing policy in this country. Instead, we drift along rivers of uncertainty, speculation, (in)visible hands, and disconnected initiatives.
At this stage, we should all be asking the obvious questions – including the most glaring: How much longer are we gonna have to wait?