As a country, the United States is proud of a lot of things. We're proud of our sports teams, our mixed heritage and even the nation's wide and varied landscapes. We tout our domestically manufactured products with the seal "proudly made in the U.S.A.," but even though we are among the leaders of industry and innovation, most of the consumer goods sold in the U.S. were made in other countries. At this point, seeing a sticker or note signifying a product made on American soil seems like a surprise. Even the small American flags that people wave at parades and displayed in their front yards were likely made in China or another outsourced country.

However, in-country production of many consumer goods is seeing a turnaround. Not only is this a positive boost for patriotic morale, but it's a big step toward reducing the unemployment rate and reinvigorating the economy. Within the next few years, Americans can expect to see more companies opting for on-shore manufacturing for a wide array of products.

Big moves for big companies
Walmart is making big headlines this month with its push for more local manufacturers and suppliers for their U.S. locations reported IndustryWeek. Last year the company made a push for U.S.-based manufacturers with its "Made in the USA" Open Callwhich proved to be so successful that it's up for round two later this year. Walmart Vice President Cindi Marsiglio claimed that domestic manufacturing benefits both the customers who purchase said goods and the people and communities that produce them.

These pushes for local suppliers come on the heels of allegations that Walmart's Bangladesh operations employed children as young as 11 for 100 hours a week to make affordable clothes for consumers elsewhere in the world the International Business Times reported. Whether Walmart is embracing domestic manufacturing to benefit and employ more Americans or to avoid more labor scandals overseas remains to be seen but the shift does seem to be having a positive outcome for the aforementioned parties.

Removing links in the supply chain
Walmart is not the only company looking to relocate factories and suppliers back on to American soil. According to MarketWatch over 60000 jobs were added in 2014 thanks to reshoring efforts. The Reshoring Initiative strives to educate U.S. companies and convince them to bring their operations stateside again. It seems that many of these enterprises including Apple and the Dodge motor company are choosing to relocate their operations due to escalating wages in foreign countries the Reshoring Initiative asserted. When you combine these wages with the cost of shipping goods to the U.S. and paying all the parties in question our home country is quickly becoming the economical choice.

This is not to say that outsourcing will disappear from our supply chain entirely but there are some big changes on the horizon. In a Deloitte survey 54 percent of executives from multi-billion-dollar enterprises stated that they hoped to move production back to North America from places like China and Southeast Asia. Businesses that reshore their operations will be able to more closely monitor the factory conditions and employee wages two humanitarian issues that often come up in conjunction with outsourced manufacturing and are the subjects for depressing exposes.

Whatever the specific reasons may be to move production back to home territory  reshoring is an important step to reinvigorate the U.S. economy that will hopefully continue to build momentum.

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Carole Boyle

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