With the growing reader (and consumer) interest in domestically made products, what main news pegs should we hook our story to?
Big visible events (like Walmart’s “Made in the USA” Open Call event inviting companies to propose new US-made products) help with storytelling. Also, the political changes and our new president provide ample news hooks. President Trump is actually having a positive effect so far on the reshoring action. The announcements on offshoring doubled starting in November 2016. Business concerns of tariffs and hope for lower corporate tax rates have inspired companies to make considerable moves to bring manufacturing back to the US. This link from our website provides other resources and angles for writers/public affairs people to consider.
What got you hooked on domestic manufacturing?
My grandfather and father both worked as managers at the huge Singer Sewing Machine factory in Elizabeth, N.J. Back then, it was the biggest factory in the world. Dad ran a third of the factory and I worked summers there from age 15 to 22. I always found the enterprise of the place exciting.
What delights you the most about this topic?
The results I see. One favorite story was a sales vice president who, using the tools we provided, saved a $60 million order from a lower priced Chinese competitor.
What stories do you see storytellers (both media and public affairs folk) not yet sharing?
The environmental impacts of bringing back manufacturing to the US remains the most neglected story. Also, we’re missing elements of the potential number of jobs that will come from reshoring. (Editor note: NAMS tracks 12.3 million manufacturing jobs in the US currently.)
The media hooked on to some incorrect data a while ago. Automation lost America 4 million jobs (not the 750,000 jobs many incorrectly claimed). I see this repeated mistake in the media and reporters using the data to undermine President Trump’s efforts to bring jobs back. It’s feasible for companies to bring a substantial number of jobs back, if companies just do the math.
I also see companies and media highlighting the big assembly plant when a company reshores; however, many neglect sharing how that move impacts the supplier base, too. When big companies reshore, the paint and steel companies get busier too. The media often ignore that element; however, often twice as many jobs exist at the suppliers as at the assembly plant. Humanize domestic manufacturing; show those people and how their lives just got better, too.