During opening day of IMTS 2018, Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, spoke during a press conference about achieving a 40% increase in U.S. manufacturing without tariffs. Moser, a 50-year manufacturing industry veteran and retired president of GF Machining Solutions, founded the Reshoring Initiative to move lost jobs back to the U.S.
Reshoring and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) have added about 500,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs since 2009, 40% of the total manufacturing employment increase.
“Adding another million requires smarter corporate sourcing decisions and skilled workforce training and adding a further three million requires major national action to level the trade playing field,” said Moser.
The record rate of 170,000 reshoring and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) jobs announced in 2017 will not be sustainable unless national and corporate policies are changed to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive, according to Moser.
“Part of the Reshoring Initiative’s mission is to help companies bring back jobs, reduce the playing field tilt for tomorrow, and create motivation for skilled manufacturing careers,” said Moser. “There is also an Import Substitution Program which identifies importers and helps shops and technology suppliers sell and a free Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) software to help companies for sourcing and suppliers for selling parts and equipment.”
The Total Cost of Ownership Estimator uses advanced metrics that allow users to easily determine the total cost of offshoring by accounting for and understanding the relevant offshoring costs, which include inventory carrying costs, shipping expenses, intellectual property risks and more.
Also, earlier this year, the Reshoring Initiative’s Competitiveness Toolkit was launched at the U.S. House of Representatives Manufacturing Caucus Briefing at the DC Congressional Visitors’ Center. The Toolkit provides and quantifies the best tools to eliminate the trade deficit and increase U.S. manufacturing 40% without tariffs.
“The actual return of jobs back to the U.S. makes credible that millions more can return with the correct policies in place, and that balancing the trade deficit will cause annual purchases of machine tools and other manufacturing technology to increase by about 25% for 20 years, which can overcome the current productivity lag and motivate skilled workforce recruitment,” said Moser.
Moser also reviewed results of a joint survey by the Reshoring Initiative and Plante Moran, which quantified the reasons for offshoring, price gaps and policy changes needed. He also busted a handful of manufacturing myths, such as:
- Few jobs can be brought back to the U.S. “There is proof they can be brought back,” said Moser. “In 2017, 171,000 jobs were announced to come back—this is about 90% of the entire increase of manufacturing employment in 2017.”
- Robots are taking many of the manufacturing jobs and should be taxed. “If you tax the robots you won’t have as many robots as you should, and we believe if the U.S. doesn’t embrace automation then the U.S. may lose more jobs to China,” said Moser. “If you automate you have the work here with the possibility of more employment.”
- Almost all manufacturing job losses have been due to productivity, not offshoring. “However, we believe that 60% of the loss was due to offshoring, not productivity.”
- The trade deficit is not important and cannot be fixed anyway. “Actually, the trade deficit drives the low saving rate, and we believe that because there is a high trade deficit, the savings rate is low.”
- Manufacturing employment will inevitably continue to decline like agriculture. “Manufacturing is opposite of the agriculture industry—it is low volume high mix—tending towards customization and it is much harder to automate manufacturing than agriculture where you have a high volume low mix,” explained Moser.
On Friday, Sept. 14, Moser will speak on the Main Stage between the North and South Halls at 9:30 a.m. about the Reshoring Initiative’s mission, and busting the myths of manufacturing. Additional information on the Reshoring Initiative is available at www.reshorenow.org.