Improved U.S. competitiveness and rising costs in China will put the United States in a strong position by around 2015 to eventually add 2 million to 3 million jobs and an estimated $100 billion in annual output in a range of industries, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG www.bcg.com).
The report, titled U.S. Manufacturing Nears the Tipping Point: Which Industries, Why, and How Much?, is the latest in BCG’s ongoing study of the emerging reshoring or “insourcing” trend, conducted by its Operations and Global Advantage practices.
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The report expands upon earlier BCG research released last year on the changing economics that are starting to favor manufacturing in the U.S. The first formal report, Made in America, Again: Why Manufacturing Will Return to the U.S., published in August, explained how 15 to 20 percent annual increases in Chinese wages and other factors were rapidly eroding China’s manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. Then in October, BCG released a second set of findings identifying seven broad industry sectors that it said were most likely to reach a “tipping point” over the next five years — a point at which China’s shrinking cost advantage should prompt companies to rethink where they produce certain goods meant for sale in North America.
The second formal report elaborates on those findings and explains the reshoring trend more fully. For example, it projects how much production work is likely to shift from China to the U.S. in each of the seven tipping-point sectors: transportation goods, appliances and electrical equipment, furniture, plastic and rubber products, machinery, fabricated metal products, and computers and electronics. It also predicts that production of 10 to 30 percent of U.S. imports from China in these sectors, which in 2010 accounted for nearly $200 billion worth of products, could move to the U.S.