The Pandemic Isn’t Bringing Back Factory Jobs, at Least Not Yet (NYT)

It’s a moment of reckoning for global supply chains. But that doesn’t mean companies are flocking back to the United States.
There are good reasons for some companies to move out of China. Wages are rising, whittling away at one incentive to manufacture there. And deep fissures between the United States and China have opened in areas like security and technology, which could lead to more aggressive action by either side, regardless of who wins the presidential election in November. Still, more companies leaving China does not necessarily represent a win for American workers. Like La-Z-Boy, many companies that are moving some facilities out of China are relocating to countries where wages are even lower. While U.S. trade with China fell sharply last year, imports from Vietnam, Taiwan and Mexico swelled. For many companies, making their supply chains more resilient has actually meant spreading out production around the world, not concentrating it in the United States. Purveyors of consumer products, fast food and automobiles continue to expand in China, which is home to a rapidly growing consumer market and the world’s greatest concentration of factories. Some firms have struggled to find factory space or skilled workers outside of China.

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