Shift Changes: Hey Apple-- Why not Make it in America?
Today on Shift Changes we’d like to discuss a hypothetical shift—a shift that we’d certainly like to see, and given American’s affinity for made-in-USA products, we’re sure American consumers would appreciate as well.
We think Apple Computers should shift production of its electronic devices from the infamous Foxconn factories in China back to the U.S. This idea was recently proposed by American manufacturing advocates Michele Nash-Hoff, President of ElectroFab, and Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, in a Boston Globe op-ed.
Nash-Hoff and Ellis argue that with the introduction of Tim Cook as the new Apple CEO, now is the ideal time for the company to bring jobs (of the non-Steve variety) back to the U.S. They believe that Cook can “top Jobs’ act” by moving Apple’s manufacturing base to the U.S.—and given the key role he played in establishing the company’s supply chain, he is the perfect man for the job.
They also state that contrary to popular beliefs regarding the financial “need” for Apple to manufacture it's products abroad, given the company’s stellar reputation and quality products, it could easily profit from manufacturing them right here in the U.S.A:
“Apple is in a unique position to manufacture in the US. In a sector driven by price, Apple does not compete on price — it competes on quality. Apple products cost more and command a premium price because they’re better. Sound familiar? This has traditionally been the hallmark of American goods. Buyers pay more for products made in the US, because they are superior.”
As for labor Costs, Nash-Hoff and Ellis argue that Apple should have no problems paying American workers fair wages to manufacture their goods domestically:
“But Apple can well afford American labor…In the final analysis, labor is a small part (probably less than 10 percent) of Apple’s cost of manufacturing, far less than capital equipment and components.”
We couldn’t agree more. Apple, a prime example of American innovation at its best, has long prided itself on its ability to design groundbreaking consumer electronic devices that set the tone for the rest of the industry. Now it’s time for this American success story to become truly American by shifting produciton back to the country that houses its epicenter of innovation—and hopefully the rest of the American tech industry will follow suit.
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