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Reshoring Lifts Chemical Business in North America

The great migration of manufacturing from North America to China began 20 years ago when companies, believing they could reduce production costs 30 to 40%, began establishing facilities and working with third parties there to benefit from special economic zones, new industrial infrastructure, favourable tariffs, low currency-exchange rates and, importantly, cheap labour. In 2013, the world’s largest trade fair for plastics and rubber, coming up in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 16 to 23 October, it seems appropriate to review how things have developed over the years.
 
In reality, the savings, while sizeable, never matched expectations. Now that labour costs, tariffs and related production expenses in China are rising, manufacturing is moving again – this time back to North America in a trend called reshoring.
 
Reshoring was identified in 2012 as a growing transfer of select manufacturing operations from China and other low-cost countries back to the U.S. and Canada. “Select” in this case means advanced manufacturing: high-tech or complex parts that require skilled product design and mould and tool development, along with sophisticated moulding, extrusion and other process capabilities.
 
To obtain comprehensive data on reshoring lifts chemical business in North America – read our issue #5, 2013 (77).
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