Global trade as a percentage of global GDP peaked in 2006 for a variety of reasons.

 

Geopolitical tensions are creating more friction in global trade, while automation is smoothing out the labor cost arbitrages that shifted manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia in the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, more information than ever is being gathered about ever-changing consumer demand, forcing multinational supply chains to become more nimble and responsive.

 

The result has been a surge of reshoring initiatives by U.S. companies, broadly defined as investments and network redesigns that result in a net gain of U.S. jobs (more on how reshoring is defined in the report below). The United States added more manufacturing jobs in 2018 than in any other year since 1997, and the rate of investment continues to accelerate.

 

In this report, we analyze announced reshoring initiatives by Fortune 1000 companies, finding that reshoring is concentrated in industrial companies. We consider specific examples from the floor covering, heavy equipment, aluminum, automotive and semiconductor industries. 

 

To expand the geographical focus slightly beyond the borders of the United States, pair this reading with our Aug. 7 note, “Our North America thesis,” to discover our view of the future of economic integration across Canada, the United States and Mexico.

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