Is this the era of supply-chain ‘relocalisation’?


Economic shifts and a new political focus on protectionism around the world have companies rethinking their global supply chains, Justin Rose and Martin Reeves write for Harvard Business Review. Labour costs are rising in East Asia while automation is driving down costs elsewhere, “accelerating the ‘relocalisation’ of supply chains”, they explain. Meanwhile, new threats of protectionist border taxes in the US and new trade policies for the UK could complicate global supply chains even further. However, rebuilding a domestic base will be difficult in many sectors, as the number of US manufacturing firms shrank by nearly 19,000 from 2001 to 2015.

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