Quality Magazine

QUALITY MAILBAG: Can't Compete

May 20, 2003
Dear Editor,

Your comparison of manufacturing in China to Pandora's Box (February 2003) is a good one. Unfortunately, as soon as the box top is cracked open, there is no practical way of closing it again.

I am deeply concerned about the on-going health of U.S. manufacturing in light of Chinese competition. My company recently performed a standard cost analysis comparing our products manufactured in China vs. manufacturing in the United States. One Chinese businessman told us that the cost of labor in China isn't cheap, it's free! How can we, or other developed countries, compete against free labor?

I am reminded of this crisis every time I pick up an item with a “Made in China“ label. The current attention of the U.S. citizen is directed at tax cuts, political issues and war with Iraq. What is ignored is the war the country is already waging to maintain a manufacturing sector and the resulting middle class.

Donald Kaufman
Morrison Products Inc.
Cleveland