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Reshoring, nearshoring production away from China remains ‘hot topic’

‘In the US we have an education and skills problem, not a labor shortage problem’

Rosemary Coates of the Reshoring Institute discusses supply chain strategy with FreightWaves' Anthony Smith during the Global Supply Chain Summit on Tuesday. (Photo: FreightWaves)

This fireside chat recap is from Tuesday, the first day of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: What do reshoring and nearshoring mean for supply chain strategies?

DETAILS: More and more companies are considering reshoring or nearshoring their manufacturing operations back to North America after the global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and U.S.-China trade war.

SPEAKERS: Rosemary Coates is the founder and executive director of the Reshoring Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization aimed at helping companies decide where they should manufacture, with a focus on bringing production back to the U.S. Anthony Smith is FreightWaves’ chief economist.


“Reshoring is a hot topic, it’s on every board’s agenda. I saw a survey recently that over 80% of companies in America are considering reshoring. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to rip everything out of China and bring it all back to the U.S. It’s more subtle than that. What we’re seeing mostly right now is companies that are starting to rebuild their supply chains inside the U.S.”

“There’s lots of open jobs in the U.S., somewhere over 2 million open jobs, and there are lots of people unemployed. The mismatch is that the skills that are required now are not the skills that those available workers have. That means that we need to re-skill our workers. So I really think we have an education and skills problem, not a labor shortage problem.”

“It’s very difficult to extract your [production] from China. But I’m here to tell you, you better be thinking about it, because the situation in China’s not going to get any better. It’s going to continue to deteriorate.”

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]