The new global demand for Made in USA

salt lake tribune

By Francisco J. Sanchez

There’s no doubt about it: Doing business in America is changing. And businesses with even the most loyal customers are finding that their customers are changing, too. In an increasingly global marketplace, business owners across the United States are realizing that their next major customer may no longer come from across town, but beyond our borders.

While news of American exports may not capture the headlines as government shutdowns and political impasses do, the proof is in the thousands of regional businesses that are witnessing its value firsthand.

Not only did U.S. exports outpace the growth of imports in 2012 for the first time since 2007, exports have helped support creation of more than 6 million private sector jobs during the past 35 months. So how does this relate to the business climate here in Salt Lake City? Simple: Our nation’s success with exports has in part been driven by business owners in the Beehive State.

Take, for example, Albion Minerals of Clearfield. One year ago, the company participated in a trade mission to Vietnam that was organized by a collaboration of public and private sector groups, including the state government, the U.S. Commercial Service of Utah, and our strategic partner Zions Bank. The company has since opened a distribution center in Vietnam in a $100,000 deal and expects to see profits grow.

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Hotels bet guests will favor furnishings made in USA

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Montague Furniture

By:Barbara Delollis USA Today

When you walk into a hotel in the U.S. today, you’ll see many items – chairs, draperies, lamps – that were made in China, Vietnam, Malaysia or elsewhere overseas.

But that’s gradually changing, hotel designers and furniture makers tell Hotel Check-In.

There’s a small but growing trend among hotels to buy more items from local, regional or U.S. vendors.

Hotel owners, developers and designers are increasingly deciding it’s worth it, even if they pay a little extra for a U.S. product.

Why? There’s time and risk involved with ordering items from overseas, plus showcasing locally made goods can give the hotel a patriotic or community-minded spin.

Examples:

  • The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis recently finished a $25 million revamp that used “Made in America” as its central theme. More than three-quarters of the items purchased for the renovation came from the USA, says designer Michael Suomi of New York-based Stonehill & Taylor. The guest bathroom counter tops, for instance, feature granite quarried locally and purchased from a century-old Minnesota company.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, in Greensboro, Ga., is in the midst of redecorating to give guests a lighter, more modern look with many U.S.-made products, says Megan Ybarra of the Dallas-based interior design firm Duncan Miller Ullman. The hotel found wall coverings from Kentucky, guestroom carpet from Georgia, and a Texas metalwork firm was hired to custom-make the metal branches that form the base of guestroom ottomans, she says.
  • The InterContinental Chicago’s 477-room renovation emphasizes locally-sourced materials and furniture, says Dan Egan, the hotel’s sales and marketing director. Guest rooms contain drapery from Union, Ill., headboards from Jasper, Ind., wall covering from York, Penn., and room signage in hallways from McCook, Ill.
  • Montague, a 20-year-old guestroom furniture maker, last April invested in its first-ever factory – and it’s located in North Carolina, says Misty Delbridge, who runs the company’s U.S. division. It made sense, because hotel owners are increasingly seeking products made here and the factory was in danger of closing down, she says. A Hilton hotel in Texas, for instance, is having the company prepare two model rooms for a renovation – one outfitted with furnishings made in Vietnam and the other with furnishings made in the U.S., she says. Montague still has about 70% of its products produced in China and Malaysia.

No. 1 priority: Put heads in beds

Another factor driving the growth in U.S.-sourced products is hotels’ rush to renovate in as small a window as possible so that rooms can stay filled with paying customers, says Delbridge. It’s especially true in New York City, where some hotels can be sold out or almost sold out most nights of the year.

“If the cost (to purchase U.S.-made furniture) is 10% higher and the hotel can gain revenue back in six to eight weeks, they’re all about it because then they could have a ‘Made in America’ story and gain revenue,” Delbridge says. “These companies wouldn’t do it just for the story. There’s got to be an advantage in it for them.”

Hotel renovations are faster paced than building new hotels from scratch, notes Ybarra, who worked on the Ritz-Carlton Lodge project. It typically takes about 18 months to renovate a hotel, which since the recession has been the most common activity among hoteliers, vs. about three years to build a new one, she says.

“Our clients are willing to pay an extra dollar or two to not have the hassle of waiting,” Ybarra says. There’s also the risk of complications, she says, citing long waits at U.S. Customs and a time when pirates took over containers filled with items for a Turks and Caicos hotel.

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More Trade Actions – Wind Turbine Towers, Washing Machines

More Trade Actions – Wind Turbine Towers, Washing Machines

Dave Johnson  |  July 31, 2012  |  Campaign for America’s Future

The game is to underprice your product until your competitors go out of business (like Solyndra & other solar companies). Then you own the market. This is about a lot more than just jobs. Our government is finally doing something about leveling the playing field!

This week, in separate actions, our Commerce Department imposed “anti-dumping” tariffs on wind turbine towers and washing machines. The wind turbine towers were coming in from China and Vietnam, the washing machines from Mexico and South Korea.

Why Sell Under Cost?

Dumping is when a product is sold for less than it costs to evenmake the product. The idea is that your competitors will go out of business and the manufacturing ecosystem of suppliers, knowledge and infrastructure moves to you, so you’ll come out ahead in the long run.

It takes enormous investment to open up a manufacturing operation because you need the proper facilities, the right local utilities, the tools and machines, the skilled workforce, the suppliers, the local infrastructure, the channels to markets, and all the rest of the ecosystem that supports manufacturing. When that is lost to another country it is very, very difficult to get it back. Especially in a country with a Congress that refuses to understand the need for a national industrial policy.

This is the game that countries like China have been playing with their national industrial policies designed to capture strategic industries like solar and wind energy. By selling lower than cost for several years you gain market share and shed competitors. The suppliers, knowledge base, and jobs move their way. Eventually they build or strengthen an entire ecosystem and it is just too costly for others to try to compete.

At first it is attractive to take advantage of the lower prices, later the jobs, factories, companies and entire industries are gone along with the jobs and economic power they bring. Or, in other words, look around at what has happened to us.

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Can Manufacturing Jobs Come Back? What We Should Learn From Apple and Foxconn

business
The Huffington Post

David Paul – President, Fiscal Strategies Group  –  Posted: 02/13/2012 8:30 am

Apple aficionados suffered a blow a couple of weeks ago. All of those beautiful products, it turns out, are the product of an industrial complex that is nothing if not one step removed from slave labor.

But of course there is nothing new here. Walmart has long prospered as a company that found ways to drive down the cost of stuff that Americans want. And China has long been the place where companies to go to drive down cost.

For several decades, dating back to the post World War II years, relatively unfettered access to the American consumer has been the means for pulling Asian workers out of deep poverty. Japan emerged as an industrial colossus under the tutelage of Edward Deming. The Asian tigers came next. Vietnam and Sri Lanka have nibbled around the edges, while China embraced the export-led economic development model under Deng Xiaoping.

While Apple users have been beating their breasts over the revelations of labor conditions and suicides that sullied their glass screens, the truth is that Foxconn is just the most recent incarnation of outsourced manufacturing plants — textiles and Nike shoes come to mind — where working conditions are below American standards. Read more of this post

Made in the USA… and China: Why the new paradigm will be to manufacture in both China and America. And Southern U.S. states will win big on jobs.

If I had told you in the summer of 2009 that America’s long-suffering manufacturing industries would lead the lackluster recovery from the Great Recession, you probably would have wondered what I was reading—or smoking.

I would have been correct, however. As a June 1 report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) noted, May 2011 marked the 22nd consecutive month in which U.S. manufacturing expanded. Exports have driven much of the growth. Last year, for example, U.S. exports increased more than 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau, and some 85 percent of those exports were manufactured goods.

It comes as no surprise that manufacturing employment also is on the rise, with related jobs increasing last year for the first time since 1997.

The good news about U.S. manufacturing is no fluke. For reasons I will explain below, the manufacturing renaissance should continue for years to come. Read more of this post

The First Stop to Landing your dream Job Leave the Country.

Going overseas to work can be a great way to jump-start your career, especially given the slow U.S. job market.

The economic rebound might feel good if you’re in the Goldman Sachs bonus pool, but for everyone else? Not so much. In fact, if you’re a fresh-from-B-school MBA, a frustrated manager, or a newly minted “consultant,” things probably look endlessly grim: half a million new jobless claims per week, nearly 10 percent unemployment, virtually no new hiring. But the truth is, there are hundreds of thriving companies, struggling to keep up with surging demand and desperate to hire someone just like you. The only thing is, they’re on the other side of the globe.

More than five million Americans are already there ― wherever “there” may be ― and more are expected to arrive as the expanding global economy continues rewarding talent over nationality. In places such as Vietnam, South Korea, and even Brazil, a little business experience and a lot of nerve can lead to a hefty compensation package and training that can give you a valuable leg up when you decide to return to the U.S. job market.

On average, the best-paid expats are in Asia, where one in four earn more than $200,000 a year. And, sure, speaking the local language is helpful, but it’s often less important than good business knowledge and experience.

So where to look? A planet-wide job hunt is overwhelming, which is why we’ve boiled it down to a few key questions to ask yourself. Check them out here Are You Expat Material? You might find that you just want to pack up and join the legions of Americans looking to make their fortune the expat way.

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