Designed in America, Manufactured in Korea

by Daniel Sitter - Date: 2007-07-08 - Word Count: 629 Share This!

I would imagine that South Carolina, where I live, is much like the rest of the United States in many ways. Over the last few years, hundreds of manufacturing companies here have either closed down, been acquired or are operating as a shell of their former operations. A haunting statistic here is that in just twenty short years, we have witnessed the slow, agonizing near-death of the textile industry here in America, a great deal of which was centered here in the Carolinas.

I moved here from Ohio twenty six years ago, when the single largest industry in the state was textiles. Although a few textile finishing companies remain, there are no more US textile machine manufacturers and yarn spinning companies to speak of. During that time, even as the industry vocalists were crying to government officials for protection, developing a mantra of "Made in America," they continued to buy and utilize foreign-made machinery for their manufacturing plants. They cited lower costs and increased production as their reasoning. All the while, plants were closing and the legions of unemployed were beginning to grow.

Wal-Mart, a once stellar example of the philosophy of "buy American goods," virtually single-handedly put the US television and consumer electronics industries out of business with their demands, incentives and purchasing in Korea and China. Wal-Mart currently employs over a thousand persons in their China purchasing facility which sources low-cost suppliers of a myriad of consumer goods aimed for the US market, further eliminating additional opportunities for US manufacturers. PBS, BusinessWeek and others have also reported quite extensively on this very subject.

The Columbia Business Monthly magazine just published a featured story concerning a relatively new electronic sensor company which employs twenty-five people in Columbia, 15 of which are PhD's according to the article. The authors spoke of the company's great innovative developments in LED technology and the promising markets that will benefit from their new technological advancements. What was particularly interesting is that the US military is not only a financial backer, but lined up to be a customer for many of their products. The authors also reported that the company had received the Columbia Chamber of Commerce's Award for Technical Development in 2006. Great! Good for them! Now what?

What is most disturbing about this article is that the authors seemed to gloss over the fact that while awards are being won and that promising research and development are happening here in South Carolina, all of the resulting 1200 manufacturing jobs are in Seoul, South Korea, not here.

Again, manufactured in Korea, not here.

If there ever was a vivid illustration of what is so wrong in our manufacturing sector in America here it is, printed in black and white for all to see. We cannot keep giving up ground or there soon will not be any left to give up.

The backbone and the financial strength of our country has traditionally been our innovation and manufacturing prowess. We have previously been the envy of the world. Now, our textile and consumer products industries are all but gone and our American automobile industry has been surpassed for the first time.

Many American companies are now utilizing customer service, accounting, billing and engineering firms in foreign countries due to lower costs and enhanced phone and internet capabilities. Two large manufacturing companies with operations here in South Carolina are now using an India-based company for their accounts receivable and payable. It may be a cost savings for them, but the service levels have dropped and a corresponding number of American professionals and workers have been relieved of their jobs.

What is next? Where is this all going?

How much longer will we read such articles and do or say nothing? If this matters to you, speak up fellow American tax-payers. Let our collective voices be heard.

Related Tags: company, china, jobs, manufacturing, industry, america, taxpayer, walmart, made, korea, r&d, carolina

Daniel Sitter, author of both the popular book, Learning For Profit, and the highly anticipated book, Superior Selling Skills Mastery, has extensive experience in sales, training, marketing and personal development spanning a successful 25 year career. Experience his blog at Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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