Are jobs coming back from China?

Old Jobs Not Coming Back, McCain Warns Ohio Autoworkers

McCain […] reiterated that message on Friday, saying that the government should provide better worker retraining programs and incentives for companies like GM to create new jobs making environmentally sensitive products.

“The same old jobs aren’t going to be there,” he said. “The new jobs are here at Lordstown.”[where GM makes the fuel efficient Chevrolet Cobalt]

General Motors has announced that it plans to sell a totally electric vehicle in 2010. McCain this week proposed a $300 million award to anyone inventing a radically better electric car battery.

An interesting (if a little irritating) youtube snippet. Like all things youtube, it’s too short to garner context. Maybe he didn’t mean it this way, I dunno. But it sure sounds weird.

Transcription–
JOHN MCCAIN: What we have to do is embrace this new technology, accept the fact and enjoy the fact that there’s new jobs and the old jobs aren’t coming back.

Also on this theme, BusinessWeek had an interesting cover story last month.
Can the U.S. Bring Jobs Back from China?

American factories and supplier networks in many industries have withered in the era of globalization, so it will take lots of time and capital before the U.S. can become a big player again. In electronics, for instance, there has been a mass migration of component makers to China in the past decade. Ditto for suppliers to Midwest heavy-equipment makers and North Carolina’s furniture industry.

[…]

The global industrial landscape certainly appears to be in the early stages of a realignment. The euro’s breathtaking rise against the dollar has spurred European makers of cars, steel, aircraft, and more to shift production to the U.S. Now the soaring cost of fuel is making it pricier to send goods across the Pacific.

According to ABC news, at least some jobs are coming back.

As the cost of shipping continues to soar along with fuel prices, homegrown manufacturing jobs are making a comeback after decades of decline.

Furniture designer Carol Gregg used to have her signature Chinese chests assembled in China, but such a luxury no longer seems viable, considering that some of her pieces now cost five times more to ship.

So now Gregg is having the chests made in North Carolina, simply because its cheaper.

“It’s not just about labor costs anymore,” says Rubin. “Distance costs money, and when you have to shift iron ore from Brazil to China and then ship it back to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is looking pretty good at 40 bucks an hour.”

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