Dec. 10, 2015
Of manufacturers planning to add production capacity over the next five years for goods consumed in the U.S., more plan to add that capacity in the U.S. than in any other country—a sharp reversal since as recently as two years ago. And a rising percentage of U.S.-based executives at the manufacturers say they are already in the process of reshoring production work from China. These are among the findings of new research released today by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Our research finds little evidence of a meaningful and persistent skills gap in most parts of the U.S., including in its most important manufacturing zones. The real problem is that companies have become too passive in recruiting and developing skilled workers at a time when the U.S. education system has moved away from a focus on manufacturing skills in order to put greater emphasis on other capabilities. Over the long term, therefore, serious skills shortages could develop unless action is taken.
We project that the U.S., as a result of its increasing competitiveness in manufacturing, will capture $70 billion to $115 billion in annual exports from other nations by the end of the decade. About two-thirds of these export gains could come from production shifts to the U.S. from leading European nations and Japan. By 2020, higher U.S. exports, combined with production work that will likely be “reshored” from China, could create 2.5 million to 5 million American factory and service jobs associated with increased manufacturing.
Within five years, higher manufacturing exports due to a widening cost advantage over China and other major economies could add $20 billion to $60 billion in output to Mexico’s economy annually. And thanks to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. manufacturers of components for everything from automobiles to computers assembled in Mexico also stand to benefit, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
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