Sina News reports that Foxconn, which makes components for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) products among others, may open a factory in the United States. Among the sites being evaluated are Detroit and Los Angeles.
Since labor is so cheap in China, it is hard to see why Foxconn would make such a decision and hurt its margins. One reason may be political. Foxconn’s labor abuses have been in the news almost every week. Apple probably is concerned about the reaction of American consumers, and whether these reactions eventually will hurt sales. A factory in America, particularly in a place as badly damaged by the drop in manufacturing jobs as Detroit, would help Foxconn’s image, even if there is a financial cost. The factory also would help silence the “China has taken American jobs overseas” movement.
But the jobs that would be created in the U.S. may not be for highly skilled and highly paid labor. ZDNet reports:
[T]he production of Apple products is “very complex”, market watchers expect the new plants in the U.S. to only manufacture LCD televisions — the production process of which is highly automated and relatively simple, the report noted.
American labor just cannot hack it.
Douglas A. McIntyre