Supply Chain Tales from the Crypt

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In this season of ghosts and demons, I thought it might be interesting to review the horror and scariness of working in supply chain over the last three decades. First, let me set the stage. U.S. economic policy over the last three decades has been one of pursuing low-wage-country materials and products overseas, specifically in China. This led—at least initially—to lower material prices and later, to lower-priced consumer products. The transition of U.S. purchases of Chinese imports from low value-add materials to higher value-add products should not be a surprise. Why? Because this aligns exactly with China’s long-term economic policy, which has been to use its initial foray in supplying low-price materials to gain the expertise needed to manufacture more complex products and—not a minor issue—finance its industrial expansion.

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