Certainly, China comes up as a threat to U.S. manufacturing jobs. American workers can’t compete with Chinese workers on price or on tolerance for difficult working conditions, and China continues to be a popular place for American companies to offshore.
China also comes up as a threat to American industry because, with European economies uncertain, China has become an important trading partner. Lower orders from China and speculations that Chinese factories are a saturated market have been among the factors that are keeping U.S. industry slow.
The connection between these two roles can’t be denied.
The latest news from China is good, though, from both perspectives. Rexroth is opening a new plant in China. Rexroth has had a presence in China for 30 years and had more than a billion dollars in sales there last year. Since Rexroth is a German company, its expansion in China has no consequences for U.S. workers, and the opening of the plant is simply a good sign for those who have feared that China’s economy might be in trouble.