For years, companies, especially companies in the textile industry and those that rely on textiles, fled the U.S. for cheaper labor and sweetheart deals- first to Latin America and then to Asia. It appeared that this trend would only end when the U.S. had been drained of every last high-paid manufacturing job. Then a funny thing happened, the exodus not only slowed, but also started to move in reverse.
Over the past few years, the concept of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., referred to as reshoring, has become a hot button topic. For a long time, Americans were just happy to access cheap clothing and TVs, but the novelty wore off when these same consumers lost their jobs. Even the undisputed champion of low-cost, outsourced retail, Wal-Mart, recently pledged to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. made goods over the next decade.
Amidst this great news, we must understand that this positive movement is not a result of protectionist policies but a combination of economic cycles plus a bit of economic nationalism. It’s too soon to tell if the recently passed U.S.-Panama TPA can eliminate obstacles to trade and boost our own manufacturing base.
At Jason Mills, we firmly believe that there is a strong future for the American textile industry. We will continue to proudly manufacture cost-effective, environmentally compliant and technically superior nylon and polyester mesh textiles in the US, all the while attempting to push into markets across the globe. We are living proof that it is possible to not only survive but prosper as an American-based textile company.