Prediction: Return of “Made in the USA”

Prediction 1: There will be a return to “Made in the USA”

Status: Occurring

“In many ways, the groundwork has been laid for people to care about where products were made. This may not happen for very price sensitive consumers, but all else being equal, more people are prepared to buy domestic and pay a slight premium if it means long-term sustainability. Recession is a good teacher.”

Econovation, 2011, p.96-97

What Happened

After decades of exodus, companies returning production to the U.S., May 2014

After three decades of an exodus of production to China and other low-wage countries, companies have sharply curtailed moves abroad.

…the retreat from offshoring is clear from various sources, including federal data on assistance to workers hurt by overseas moves.

U.S. factory payrolls have grown for four straight years, with gains totaling about 650,000 jobs. …it still marks the biggest and longest stretch of manufacturing increases in a quarter century.

…last year marked the first time since the offshoring trend began that factory jobs returning to the U.S. matched the number lost, at about 40,000 each.

Trump Expected to Bolster ‘Buy American’ and ‘Hire American’ Directives, Apr 2017

Meet the Chinese Billionaire Who’s Moving Manufacturing to the U.S. to Cut Costs, Dec 2016

White House planning ‘Made in America’ week, Jul 2017

After Decades of Exodus, Companies Returning Production to the U.S.  2014

“After three decades of an exodus of production to China and other low-wage countries, companies have sharply curtailed moves abroad. Some, like Generac, have begun to return manufacturing to U.S. shores.”

Companies Tiptoe Back Toward ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ 2015

Trump Expected to Bolster ‘Buy American’ and ‘Hire American’ Directives, 2017

Meet the Chinese Billionaire Who’s Moving Manufacturing to the U.S. to Cut Costs,2016

President Trump Speaks at White House ‘Made in America’ Event, Jul 2017

Bringing Shirt-Making Back To America, One High-Tech Button-Down At A Time, Oct 2017

Prediction 2: Walmart & others can drive domestic production & show consumers US-made composition of goods

Similarly, Wal-Mart can do for domestic production what it did for energy efficiency when it phased out incandescent bulbs. It could even have a “Made in the USA” store-within-a-store in some categories. Others like Home Depot, Best Buy, and Amazon can capitalize by promoting or rating products based on percentage made here. If McDonald’s shows salt and cholesterol content in food, why couldn’t “Made in . . . ” labels evolve, too? Showing the macroeconomic price you pay for each TV or PC can help consumers make choices that drive favorable economics.
Econovation, p97

What Happened?

Walmart Ad Leads To Death Threats For ‘Dirty Jobs’ Host, Feb 2014

In the ad, Walmart promises to spend $250 billion over the next 10 years to create new U.S. manufacturing jobs. Nevertheless, people have called Rowe everything from a “Shill-for-the oppressors” to a “lightning rod for Walmart” for his voiceover.

Auto Index | American University, Washington, DC
An index developed to do exactly this for cars.

What’s Next?