USA: Manufacturing Jobs Sent Overseas

Sept 07 Daily Reckoning

Cleveland was one of America’s great industrial cities. It became a hub of the iron ore trade when the iron ore from the Mesabi iron range in Minnesota made its way from Lake Superior to Lake Erie and then to the Steel City, Pittsburgh, where the hard anthracite coal of Western Pennsylvania happened to be.

Appalachian coal went from Cleveland back to cities like Chicago and Detroit and Minneapolis. Steel went too, building Chicago’s skyline, Detroit’s factories, and the millions of cars built by GM and Ford in the post-war boom.

All of that trade still takes place, but on a vastly reduced scale. The jobs, the manufacturing, and much of the heavy industry have moved off-shore, where wages are cheaper and the cost of production is lower (and where environmental regulations are less stringent.) Globalisation brought cheap manufactured goods from China, but it cost high-paying manufacturing jobs in America’s Midwest. It was high price, in exchange for everyday low prices ...