On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised to bolster U.S. manufacturing; slash the corporate tax rate; build a wall on our southern border to keep out illegal immigrants; and invest more than $1 trillion to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure.
ATLANTA—Adidas will be opening a factory in Atlanta in 2017 where shoes will be produced entirely by robots. In a press release, the company outlined how the factory, dubbed the Speedfactory, will allow the company to manufacture shoes faster while bringing production closer to U.S. consumers.
Our government could do a lot more to level the playing field for manufacturing. While the Reshoring Initiative does not support individual candidates, we do recommend policies that will bring manufacturing back from offshore, and we try to document candidate positions on these issues.
My first column talked about why manufacturing matters most for our country. This month, I want to discuss how chasing cheap prices is not only hollowing out domestic manufacturing but, in many cases, it’s making the companies that offshore less profitable. For decades, consultants and MBAs have told companies to focus on their core competencies—mostly R&D, finance and marketing—and outsource manufacturing offshore. Now, companies are discovering that strategy was often wrong.