December 30, 2014
In recent years, U.S. manufacturing has experienced significant...
Today, we are featuring a guest blog post by Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative.
1. What has drawn you to the type of work you do and what does the Reshoring Initiative aim to do?
I have a longstanding family tradition in manufacturing and have seen the ups and downs of this industry all my life. Years ago, I was driving past a huge old factory in New Jersey where much of my family worked and saw that production was offshored. I realized then what had been lost and decided I would do all that I could to bring U.S. manufacturing back. So in 2010 I founded the Reshoring Initiative, which aims to bring good, well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States by assisting companies to more accurately assess their total cost of offshoring, and shift collective thinking from ‘offshoring is cheaper’ to ‘local reduces the total cost of ownership.’
2. Tell us about the current state of the U.S. manufacturing sector. How has it changed in recent years?
The reshoring trend continues to grow. Comparing 2003 to 2013, we have gone from losing about 150,000 manufacturing jobs each year to offshoring to losing zero. The United States currently ranks second in the world for manufacturing, and this sector is incredibly important to our economy. In 2014, the manufacturing sector contributed around $2.09 trillion to the domestic economy’s added value, accounting for 12 percent of GDP. Now, our challenge is to bring back some of the 4 million jobs still offshored. My goal is to achieve a net gain of 25,000 to 50,000 over the next two years.
3. What are the major factors contributing to reshoring?
One of the most important reshoring factors is increased recognition of the benefit of having a short supply chain, one of the key deciding factors of purchasing for management. Short supply chains can cut lead time, shipping costs and disruptions outside manufacturers’ control, a concern that 91 percent of U.S. manufacturing executives have because of the impact on factory production. Geopolitical shifts, global conflicts and lesser obstacles can be predicted, but the accuracy of estimations is only so strong. By sourcing our minerals and metals domestically, we can supply our manufacturers with the resources and materials they need in a timely and efficient manner, which will incentivize manufacturers to reshore and bring production back to the United States.
4. Does the US have the materials needed to create shorter supply chains?
I have researched this subject because of its importance to sustainable reshoring. The U.S. has $6.2 trillion worth of mineral and metal reserves, which is an ample supply of materials needed to support our manufacturers. However, according to the United States Geological Survey, we remain completely import dependent on foreign countries—some hostile—for 19 key mineral resources and more than 50 percent import dependent for an additional 24 mineral resources.
This is an issue that U.S. manufacturers want to see rectified. A large majority of U.S. businesses are increasingly concerned with minerals and metals supply and the potential impact on their bottom line and overall U.S. competitiveness. Many of these manufacturers attest that protracted delays set forth by the current U.S. minerals mining policy is a major factor. In fact, nearly 90 percent of business leaders in the manufacturing industry say they support streamlining the permitting process to less than three years and 89 percent say this can be done without sacrificing necessary environmental reviews. For a better, more sustainable and resilient U.S. economy, the responsible extraction of secure domestic mineral resources must be prioritized in order to support our manufacturers.
5. Once the U.S. opens up access to its resources, what will that mean for our domestic manufacturing sector, and more broadly, the U.S.?
As manufacturers reshore, America is on its way to gaining back millions of jobs lost in the decade leading up to the global economic recession, increasing U.S. manufacturing by about 25%. Once the U.S. opens up access to its resources, we will have the minerals and metals readily available to support the industries and manufacturers who demand them and we can ensure job and economic growth across the United States. If we reshore the 25% but do not improve access to minerals and metals, our manufacturing will be proportionally even more minerals import dependent than we are today.
Go to ReshorNow.org to learn more about the reshoring trend and watch Harry explain these insights in the video below.