It’s been going on for years, across all industries. Our jobs are being outsourced to Bangladesh, China, Mexico, India, Egypt and Pakistan.
Brands such as Ford, General Motors, Maytag, Boeing, and Levi Strauss are iconic American brands- household names. American manufacturing was synonymous with quality. The middle class rose on the back of this, and high paying manufacturing jobs spurred the economy into growth. In 1965 manufacturing was responsible for 53% of the US economy, it had fallen to 39% by 1988, and as of 2004 it was just 9%.
Even as steps have been taken to insource, we are still over 7 million manufacturing jobs shy of where we were back in 1979. While America’s achievements in the manufacturing industry have been great, economists have been warning of the downtown for well over a decade. America faces the loss of its manufacturing industry forever.
Businesses look for ways to maximize their profits, and part of that is finding equipment, product, materials, and employees to fit their budgets. In order to turn a profit, businesses are being forced to rely on foreign dealings to keep their companies in the black.
Many people may not know that Los Angeles is home to the United States’ manufacturing capital when it comes to producing apparel. Which means that with California’s increase in minimum wage small businesses are taking the hit, and passing it on to their consumers increasing the cost of their garments.
1994’s NAFTA agreement has seen Mexico bloom into a global leader in manufacturing auto parts of television sets. India has benefited to the tune of over a million jobs, and China hundreds of thousands.
Businesses face two choices- increase their prices, or outsource. Outsourcing leads to job losses, and as a result jobless workers are forced to take lower paying positions, thus relying on government handouts to make up the difference.
Once upon a time the United States exported double the goods than what was imported and now those numbers are reversed. Countries that are notoriously poor at innovation, are benefiting from the United States’ technology and intellectual property. While at the start of the outsourcing trend it was only low paid workers that were losing out, that is no longer the case.
What followed was steel producers, shipbuilders, then auto workers, and beyond. The pinch continues to move further up the chain of value, leaving even the highest skilled and well paid workers at risk.
Look at the label in your clothes, when was the last time you remember seeing a garment that was Made in the USA? Unless something can be done to stop outsourcing our jobs to foreign countries, you won’t see it again. When you do, it’s likely that you won’t be able to afford to purchase it as prices will be driven sky high to afford American workers.
Tianello is still sewn in America.