Why Do Companies Offshore Jobs — and What Can Be Done to Convince Them to Reshore?

The Reshoring Initiative and Plante Moran recently launched a new survey to examine how best to motivate manufacturers to bring jobs and operations back to the United States.

The U.S. Manufacturing Reshoring Study aims to determine why many companies decide to offshore manufacturing jobs and look at ways the government can encourage companies to bring jobs home, or reshore. It’s critical information, considering offshoring has robbed American workers of at least 4 million jobs since 2000.

“We’re looking for actionable data,” said Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative. “This survey is intended to take a step in answering that question — what will it take to get these jobs back?”

Manufacturers and distributors can complete the survey online, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. The survey will close on at 8 p.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 20.

More companies chose to return manufacturing to the United States than others chose to go offshore in 2016, according to the Reshoring Initiative’s research. But offshoring still threatens American jobs, and it is clear action from Washington is needed to strengthen American manufacturing and encourage further U.S. job growth.

The survey may offer some answers on how best to do that.

Survey results should provide quantifiable information identifying the respondents’ percentage of offshored materials, the reasons behind offshoring, and what policy changes would incentivize their companies to reshore. 

The Trump administration is expected to be particularly receptive to the results of the survey, said Tim Erdmann, a principal of Plante Moran, a public accounting and business advisory firm that has conducted similar surveys for specific industries in the past.

“I really see with the Trump administration a pretty significant opening to advance domestic American manufacturing abilities … I think there is at least a desire on the current administration’s part to see how rapidly and quickly we can grow American manufacturers, and we would be happy to support that,” Erdmann said.

Moser, formerly the executive of a machine tool manufacturer, personally saw the market for his company’s products evaporate as more companies offshored. In 2010, Moser founded the Reshoring Initiative to support manufacturers as they consider the potential costs of offshoring or reshoring.

The Reshoring Initiative’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Estimator, a free online tool, enables companies to accurately forecast the cost of production in America and offshore — information that the Reshoring Survey also seeks.

In analyzing the survey results, the Reshoring Initiative and Plante Moran aim to evaluate whether the companies that appear most likely to reshore actually will, and how proposed public policy will impact these companies’ decision-making.  

“Clearly companies are motivated to improve both the top and bottom lines of their business, and there are strategic reasons they may be offshore, but, in many cases, they’re offshore only because there were cost advantages to being in some of these markets,” Erdmann said. “What percentage of production is offshore can come back—that’s another element that we would hope to understand from this survey. That even under the best of circumstances, what could we be shooting for—could we hope for a doubling of manufacturing output in the U.S. or some percentage improvement. We’ll see.”  

Survey results will be published before the end of the year, and may offer yet more impetus for Trump to support American manufacturing, including as the administration prepares to unveil the results of its national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports.

Click here to view and take part in the survey.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

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