The word has a nice ring to it. If we say it often enough and maybe do a little wishing, it might come true.
"Reshoring" is the opposite of offshoring, and the buzz term for bringing jobs from abroad back to America.
According to an October report in the Idaho Statesman, Ende Machinery and Foundry, owned by Ed Endebrock and his daughter Sue Edwards, has just started to make castings for a plant Endebrock owns in Lewiston, Idaho, that makes hydraulic pumps for trucks and other uses.
He had been outsourcing the castings to China and apparently got tired of quality and delivery problems.
The foundry will bring 20 jobs to Craigmont, Idaho, a town of about 500 people. The locals there are ecstatic about the new plant.
The newspaper report says reshoring is a response to economics.
"China's cheap labor and its artificially cheap currency — intended to foster industrial growth — are being offset in the U.S. by more automation, increasing freight costs, needs to be closer to resources and customers, and a surging interest in products with the label 'Made in the U.S.A.'"
According to Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Mfg., a nonprofit that pushes for increased manufacturing in the U.S., "reshoring is not yet a trend, it's a trickle."
Unfortunately, if the President's new jobs czar follows the path that his company has taken in the past, reshoring will remain a trickle.
Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, has been put in charge of figuring out how to create jobs in the U.S. Considering that GE does very little in the way of manufacturing these days and that the company is famous for improving its bottom line by slashing jobs and sending them overseas, Immelt seems like a peculiar choice.
Do you remember "Neutron Jack?" He was Immelt's predecessor. Like the neutron bomb, when GE's CEO Jack Welch was finished reshaping the company, the buildings were still standing but all of the people were gone. Starting in 1981, Welch dumped 100,000 jobs, and then did it again in 2001. That's one way of improving the bottom line.
The one thing we have to remember is that it's not the job of executives like Immelt to create jobs. Their job is to keep shareholders happy. In fact, the more jobs they dump, the better their bottom line looks and the happier shareholders are. So, why would he be a good choice as the "jobs czar?"
As Will Ashworth points out in a recent column for InvestorPlace, "Today, GE is a company of M&A specialists, accountants and bankers, with a few engineers thrown in for good measure. Its manufacturing soul has long since been ripped away."
We need more people like Ed Endebrock to show the way when it comes to creating jobs. People who are willing to take a risk — with their own money. I mean, who's building a foundry these days?
And if you're going to invest, let's put our money in companies like Deere, CNH and AGCO. They're actually hiring people to produce something of value, not just moving paper from bank to bank. Each of them is also expanding their manufacturing activities in North America.
Wow! What a concept.