Manufacturers Come Back to America
U.S. companies contemplating bringing some/all their manufacturing back to the States take heed: Most Americans want to buy American – and are willing to pay more for domestically made items, new survey data reveals.
More than 69% of consumers and industrial buyers prefer buying U.S. made products – and more than 83% are willing to pay up to 20% more to have a “Made in the USA” sticker on said product.
These results are according to a survey earlier this year conducted by the Reshoring Institute, Shale Directories reports.
The head of the Reshoring Institute, Rosemary Coates, will be a featured speaker at the Eighth Annual Utica Downstream Conference, scheduled for Nov. 19, at the Holiday Inn Canton (Ohio). The one-day program is produced by Shale Directories and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The primary reason buyers are willing to pay more for U.S.-built goods is one word: quality, or at least perceived better quality of Made in the USA goods, according to the Reshoring Institute survey.
The survey results are important because they give teeth to anecdotal evidence that more and more companies are “reshoring” at least a portion of their manufacturing – foregoing usually cheaper labor costs for more control of the manufacturing process, and lowering transportation costs.
And now, as the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance to U.S. companies to have manufacturing in their “backyard” has become more critical.
“Reshoring is today’s hottest topic in business,” according to Rosemary Coates, executive director and Chairperson of the California-based Reshoring Institute, told Shale Directories.
“We are pleased to have Rosemary at our Eight Annual Utica Downstream Conference on November 19th at the Holiday Inn at Belden Village in North Canton, Ohio,” said Joe Barone, President and Founder, Shale Directories. He further added, “Her presentation will make Ohio business and government officials aware of American strong desire to Made in the U.S.A.”
Coates said while the reshoring movement began in 2012 during the (Mitt) Romney-(Barack) Obama Presidential race, the 2017 Tax Reform Act and trade wars with various countries, primarily China, fueled the momentum.
“But the pandemic has had the greatest impact (on reshoring) because it has exposed manufacturing risk and vulnerability,” Coates told Shale Directories. “Now, companies are actively working to bring manufacturing back (to the U.S.).”
One of the most vocal proponents of reshoring is the CEO of Chicago-based Zekelman Industries, North America’s largest independent steel pipe and tube manufacturer.
Barry Zekelman during September and this month paid for a national advertising campaign advocating for increasing the level of manufacturing in America.
Over the two-month period, the campaign is expected to generate an estimated 315 million impressions, reaching decision-makers and policy influencers outside Zekelman Industries’ typical target audience of distributors, contractors, building developers and manufacturers.
The campaign, called “Life Reinforced,” aims to get Americans inside and outside manufacturing to understand the role manufacturing has in the economy and communities.
Increasing the level of domestic manufacturing and reshoring will help reverse unemployment trends, recreate self-sufficiency and repair communities in need, according to Zekelman.
“We can make a difference for people and communities in need. We just have to make it here,” said Zekelman. “We built this company and operate our 17 manufacturing locations on the belief that we all bear responsibility to ourselves, each other, our families and our local communities. We know from our own experience and economic studies that manufacturing jobs can lead to five or more additional jobs in the community.”
With localized billboards, online and print advertising in mainstream publications, and radio ads on 2,000 stations across 31 states, the “Life Reinforced” project engages decisionmakers directly with its “Make It Here” call to action.
In the last 24 months, Zekelman Industries has invested more than $300 million in four factories in Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, and Arizona. These factories have created more than 400 steel-based manufacturing jobs.
Steep decreases across both manufacturing sectors — 28.8% in durable goods and 27.6% in nondurable goods — made manufacturing the hardest-hit employment sector between 2000 and 2018.
This period of time coincides with China’s admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Zekelman believes America is losing manufacturing jobs due not to advancements in technology, but to poor trade deals and unfair trading practices.