Disclaimer: This is an essay submission for the Fishbowl Supply Chain Management Scholarship and does not reflect the opinions of Fishbowl
Three Ways The US Can Compete With Chinese Manufacturing
– By Lauren Syrup
U.S. Manufacturers can compete with the Chinese manufacturers in one of three different ways. The first way we can compete is through growing our own products on U.S. soil. This would include products such as cotton, tobacco, and others. Not only should we grow on U.S. soil, we should mine as well. Mining metals such as copper, gold, and nickel will help tremendously in competing with Chines manufacturers as it makes the U.S. less dependent on other countries, as well as making it cheaper to make products.
However, growing and mining in the U.S. is not always conducive to the resources that we have available or may be able to grow. This would bring up the second point: to get the materials and making more of these products ourselves. The problem with this would be not enough skilled workers in the field; of course, there is a way around this issue. One of the solutions is to get more people access to training for the type of work needed to assemble and make the products that the Chinese manufacturers control. The more people that are trained, the more that can assemble the products. Making the training free or almost free would help tremendously in the bulk training of needed individuals. After the individuals are trained, they must be put to work. An assembly line would be best in making the products quickly and efficiently, as well as cutting down on training for an individual. After the product is made, it must be sold. If we are talking about competing with the Chinese, we must market our products to the same people the Chinese are selling to, and try to do it at a lower price. This will do a couple of things. The first is if take away the Chinese biggest buyers by selling to them directly, we will surpass them in sales, naturally, and the Chinese sales will decrease. The lower price will cause the buyers to want to buy from the U.S. versus the Chinese, as a consequence of basic economics. In case making the products on U.S. soil doesn't work, there is a third option to look at.
As an alternative to the other two options, the U.S. has the option of making different products that other countries need, other than what the Chinese are already making. If we do this along with selling the products at a reasonable price, it could help fund the second option mentioned above. The second option is a very viable option to compete, and the biggest issue would be the money for the training. This way, it would set up an option that would be self-funded, since the biggest issue would be for funding and how to maintain the amount of funds it would need for the first few years of the project.
The United States can do a better job competing with China in the manufacturing industry by following one or more of these three strategies:
- Grow and harvest goods domestically to rely less on foreign imports.
- Train more American citizens to perform well in high-skilled jobs.
- Manufacture other products that China is not already adept at making.