Article | Wirtschaftspolitische Blätter

The Re-Industrialization of the United States?

by Willy C. Shih


Talk of "re-industrialization" in the United States has been supported by a seeming resurgence in manufacturing, but this is driven more by the end of labor arbitrage and increasing coordination costs of offshore manufacturing. Aggressive restructurings and significant gains in worker productivity in the face of stagnant real wage growth has meant that productivity-adjusted costs have made the U.S. more attractive for some sectors, but the offshoring of component supply chains limits the number of industries that may actually move back. U.S. manufacturing is not going to have the sector makeup that it had before the offshoring boom, rather China will remain an important manufacturing partner for the U.S., and it will be especially attractive for Europe. It just will not be the obvious first choice for offshoring that it has been.

Keywords: U.S. competitiveness; re-industrialization; re-shoring; Operations; Production; Supply and Industry; Supply Chain; Supply Chain Management; Geographic Location; Geography; Globalization; Globalized Economies and Regions; Globalized Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Labor; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Electronics Industry; Industrial Products Industry; Consumer Products Industry; United States; China; European Union;


Shih, Willy C. "The Re-Industrialization of the United States?" Wirtschaftspolitische Blätter 60, no. 2 (Second Quarter 2013): 297–312.