Good news for U.S. manufacturing: Apple is bringing some of its computer manufacturing back to the United States, CEO Tim Cook announced on Thursday. The company plans to spend $100 million in 2013 on producing one of its existing Mac lines in America. Apple is often criticized for outsourcing almost all of its factory work to Asia in the late 1990s.
“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Mr. Cook said in an interview with BusinessWeek. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.”
This might be a sign of a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. For example, GE is gearing up almost-dormant facilities in Louisville for new product development and production, SmartPlanet reports. Domestic manufacturing is gaining popularity because of high global transportation costs, lower domestic energy costs, rising offshore wages, more cooperative labor relations, and rising employee productivity. Plus, fast-changing and increasingly complicated technology makes nearby factories more convenient. But, as discussed in a panel at Techonomy 2012 in Tucson, reshoring manufacturing may not be enough to spur employment: improvements in robotic manufacturing technology is eliminating many of these jobs anyways.