Wouldn’t “reverse globalization” be more properly termed “localization?”
Where’s George Carlin when you need him? Nevermind…
It’s not just about labor costs anymore,” says Rubin. “Distance costs money, and when you have to shift iron ore from Brazil to China and then ship it back to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is looking pretty good at 40 bucks an hour.
“That’s great news if you are the United Steelworkers of America,” says Rubin. “Long lost jobs will soon be coming home. And the more that oil and transport costs rise for Chinese steel exporters, the more that North American steel wage rates can grow. But if you’re a steel buyer, your costs are going up regardless of whether you’re sourcing from China or Pittsburgh.”
Instead of finding cheap labor on the other side of the world, Rubin says, companies will look for the cheapest labor within a reasonable – and affordable – distance.