Let’s rewind to five years ago. You are at your favorite local big box retailer to purchase home furnishings, apparel, electronics, tools, or just about anything else. At that time, nearly every item that you would have purchased on that day would most likely have been stamped “Made in China”. For the past 20 plus years China’s industrial revolution allowed it to dethrone the USA and become the undisputed heavyweight manufacturing champion of the world. The 50 years of post-World War II USA manufacturing prowess as evidenced by Trenton, New Jersey’s slogan, “Trenton Makes and the World Takes”, had been replaced to read, “China Makes and the World Takes.”
Now let’s fast forward to present day 2015. As world economists debate back and forth about the continued rise or impending economic doom and gloom of a declining China, let’s go back to that same big box retailer with the same shopping list. As you wait in the checkout line you start to get curious and begin inspecting your basket of goods. Of course you see the familiar “Made in China” stamp but interestingly you see other countries names being stamped on the goods. As you look further you begin to realize that China, while still prevalent, has been joined by “Made in India, Poland, Vietnam, Brazil, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mexico, and Thailand”, to name a few. You are also surprised to the see the reemergence of “Made in the USA” on a number of the products.
The scenario we just gave is the core of the Tractus Big Box Index™ and a guide to what products are made where and what this means in terms of global economic development, foreign direct investment trends, and manufacturing competitiveness. Watch this space as we begin to unravel and explain these issues through using the Tractus Big Box Index™.