The labored progress in U.S. manufacturing, which has moved in fits and starts over the past year, may be hiding a trend that could disrupt the global landscape for industrial production.
At a time when many believe China’s role as a manufacturing powerhouse is waning, Chinese companies are investing in factories in the U.S. And Chinese manufacturers are leveraging the knowledge they’re gaining in the U.S. factories back home to help them move from low-value sectors into higher-value markets and products.
American manufacturers should heed this trend, and be prepared to compete with China Manufacturing 2.0.
The increased presence of Chinese manufacturers in the U.S. is significant. They are seeking to shake their “cheap, low-quality” label in favor of higher-end markets. And to be successful, they must have access to innovation, engineering prowess and advanced technical skills that are in short supply in their domestic labor pool.