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February 20, 2007

Manufacturing that stays

Some people worry that most, if not all, of U.S. manufacturing factories will eventually move to overseas locations. But N.C. State University economist Mike Walden says there are factors that would prevent this from happening.

"First of all, the U.S. is still the largest consumer market in the world, and that fact alone makes it advantageous for many manufacturers with certain characteristics to still want to be located here in the U.S.," says Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics.

"For example, manufacturers who are making cutting-edge products where it is very important to be located near to their buyers who have perhaps changing tastes -- there you want to be in the U.S.," he explains. "And a good example here would be high-end electronic products.

"Also manufacturers making large and expensive products, like sub-zero refrigerators -- they are going to find the transportation costs to be very high. So they also want to be close to their customers here in the U.S.," Walden adds.

"And finally factories that need very high skilled, highly productive workers. The U.S. has more of them than any other country. They will stay here, too."

Posted by deeshore at February 20, 2007 08:41 AM