Observation on Trump Tariffs:
The Trump Administration has a wealth of data from industry and other sources in making these trade decisions. For the most part, we can ignore media reports because they either dwell on the sensational or are hopelessly biased. As far as China is concerned, there are many fine people there and here involved in industry, IT, Academia and other pursuits. However, the US has basically given away the store over the past 2 decades, so that we now find ourselves in an untenable situation. We are not only importing massive amounts of goods from China, but we have also hurt or destroyed domestic manufacturing infrastructures to the point where we might have significant difficulty in bringing some manufacturing back to the US. Therefore, we should take a wait and see attitude about these tariffs because they reflect a serious situation. Undoubtedly Trump is sending a message that "Business as Usual" is over and the US will no longer tolerate lopsided trade imbalances, whether caused by unfair trade practices or by the vagaries of industry seeking profits from low-cost labor.
The current situation with Harley Davidson trumpeted by the media as a failure of the Trump tariffs is actually a good thing: It makes sense for Harley to manufacture in Europe for European consumption, just like it makes sense for Apple to manufacture in China for Chinese demand.
Where Are We?
In several recent meetings and discussions on US manufacturing, the message I have gotten is, we will never get this mfg. back. We simply can't compete with China, even though direct labor costs are not the major factor. Best to work with the now-global supply chain to feed domestic needs.
The US improved from 7th to 3rd because of our strength in electronics and other industries. Our aim is #1. That will take addressing the items above and establish programs in automation where the US at this time does not rank in the top 10 Robotics Manufacturers. It is dominated by Japan and Europe with China rearing its head. However, the US ranks last among developed countries in its corporate tax policy, with over $1 Trillion parked offshore. If the new tax proposal becomes law, we will jump ahead in global competitiveness. But others are moving also: France, UK, and Germany are all looking at lowering corp. taxes
Mid Board Optical Transceiver developed by TE Connectivity in Sweden. The concept is to convert ASIC/CPU signals to lightwave for onboard transmission. While the TE project was discontinued, numerous other projects are in the works - including our MIT/INEMI Midboard test vehicles using single-mode expanded beam MXC connectors and MT Ferrules. Data from initial testing indicates acceptable loss budgets.
We have been to Washington several times, and plan to spend more when the histrionics is over. A letter from President Trump acknowledges our work.
This work includes:
Some computer OEMs are making waves about future US manufacturing:
- Apple will assemble the new Mac Pro Tower Workstation when it arrives
- Dell's Michael Dell did assemble here - to order, but finally moved a lot of mfg. to China
- He is on a task force in the Senate to identify roadblocks to manufacturing here
- Obstacles are as follows:
Even with above, the US ranks 3rd in the Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report.
The top 10 are: