By Giuseppe De Santis
The British Democrats believe in rebuilding British industry and manufacturing. It appears many manufacturers agree with us. In particular, we do not believe in unrestricted international trade when it has plainly destroyed much of our manufacturing industry. We would seek the re-building of our manufacturing industry with state assistance if necessary. Globalisation (the free movement of goods, services, and even people around the world) can have only one result: that all wage levels throughout the world will approximate to the same level. After decades of closing down factories in Britain and in developed countries, and moving them to cheaper countries like China, some manufacturers are now rethinking this process and are starting to bring back manufacturing. This process is called reshoring, and even if it’s in the early stages, the effects are starting to be evident and demonstrate, once again, that nationalists have been right all along. There are many reasons for this change of mind, but the most important are the rising cost of labour in China and the logistical problems arising by moving production to far away countries. Not only does offshoring increase the cost of transporting the goods, but also it’s difficult to control the quality of production. So, companies are unable to act whenever a problem arises in the countries where factories are delocalised.
So far, this process has been evident in the USA, where generous incentives provided by the American government have sparked a manufacturing renaissance, but something is also happening in the UK.In that regard, it’s worth noticing that Brandauer, a metal stamping specialist, has secured contracts for £500,000 and this is important because only one year ago, companies were looking to the Far East for this type of tooling project. However, they are now looking for a British company, and this is not an isolated case because in the pipeline, there is another £1,000,000 of other orders.
Despite the challenges and complications of Brexit, there has been a definite shift towards more UK sourcing of precision tooling, and that has certainly been driven by an overwhelming desire to shorten supply chains.De-risking supply is high on the list of priorities after the disruption that took place because of geopolitical pressures, Covid-19, and, more recently, a global lack of materials.
Of course, Brandauer is not the only manufacturing company willing to operate again in the UK. Some British manufacturers are working to bring back factories in the UK and are asking the British government to do its part to take advantage of this reshoring trend that could bring billions to the British economy.
Those manufacturers formed the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN) and signed the MANifesto, a new blueprint for making the UK globally competitive and a direct response to a lack of a coherent industrial strategy from our Government.The collective launched the plan of action in May and is lobbying the powers at Whitehall to provide additional support towards the four key pillars of investment: people, sustainability, Net Zero, and international trade. One of the business people who signed this manifesto explains how he has seen the damage offshoring has done to UK manufacturing, so now is the time to reverse the trend.
There are a lot of things manufacturers can do, but it is important that the government understands the situation. Yes, reshoring is happening, but to sustain it, there needs to be a concerted push to support sectors that are growing.
It’s impossible to argue with that, but it remains to be seen if the government will listen.
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