If that were true, we wouldn't be keeping international balance of payments accounts.
“'The battery chargers, camera lenses, and timing crystals all come from Taiwan. The screen is from Japan, the video processing chip from South Korea, and many of the other chips Taiwan's Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. In all, over nine countries produce the parts and components that all head to final assembly in China. So, it is indeed, quite possible that the United States has a trade surplus with China qua China on the iPhone.'”
Prestowitz is right in that the parts for an iPhone do come from all over. But those parts are sold to China, so they affect China's balance of payments with those other countries. When China sells the final product to us, then it affects our balance of payments. And, as you will see when you look past Prestowitz's sophistry, it's a deficit, not a surplus.
“What's bizarre is that more than a decade after the advent of what we once called 'globalism,' it's still common to hear rhetoric about factory jobs heading overseas.”
What's bizarre is the denial that US jobs have been shoved out the door, with a stick thrown at them to make sure they don't come back.
"That's not to minimize the effects of collapsing manufacturing economies--notably, in the United States.”
The article does minimize the effects--grossly. It seems almost propagandistic in its minimization.
Great post. Your article points out a very good topic that seems to be making headlines lately. Everybody is trying to claim products are made in certain countries in order to benefit their topic. I heard one person's response to a Honda being built in Ohio by American workers as "The engineering and the money still goes to Japan".
At this point how would you describe a product assembled in the U.S. that is using imported materials or vice versa?
What if we abolish the "Made in" sticker with something like "Packaged in". It will clearly state where the product was packaged. If we want we can state something like "componenets manufactured in" which will state where the each components were manufactured. Do you think this method will work ?
To Adeniji's comment: The US senator's comment I referred to in the story was part of a televised interview, and he seemed to be talking about "Made in USA" as a jobs and economic concept. A bit simplistically, to my reading of it, he was saying -- incorrectly as it turns out -- that a factory or factories in the US was responsible for "making" various Apple products, and implying that the US was benifitting from this in the usual ways. Jobs for Americans, money for domestic subcontractors, etc. In fact that economic activity is spread over several national economies, with costs and benefits in each of those places along the supply and production chain. What I was asking, or trying to ask, was whether the concept of "made in" has any importance for modern electronics, when supply systems make it possible to spread the work, and the profits from the product, across many countries and economies.
When I lived in Jakarta I knew a few people who worked at a textile plant making sleeves for shirts. Just the sleeves. They shipped them to Saipan, where they were sewn onto the torso portion of the garment, and then sent to US stores for sale. The sleeve factory was Singaporean owned. The tag in the shirt said "Made in Saipan." Which it sorta was and sorta wasn't. The information on the tag was virtually meaningless in terms of understanding how that shirt got made. Same for the iPhone, at least for Senator McCain, it appears.
Well said, Marc. The "Made in" idea actually started back when Japanese automobiles became popluar in the US--and when they were still made in Japan. It's more of a nationalistic movement than informative at this point. I think there are criteria that help determine how the "Made in" product is labeled, but I couldn't point to them
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.