production shifts--- a subject for discussion?

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Sun Oct 17 2004 - 13:42:28 EDT

Note the link to the full report. Would be this a report to explore as 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Kathy Michels (202) 624-1409
October 15, 2004
Web site:
Washington, D.C. – The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission 
today released a study titled
“The Changing Nature of Corporate Global Restructuring: The Impact of 
Production Shifts on Jobs in the
U.S., China, and Around the Globe.” The study was jointly prepared for the 
Commission by Dr. Kate
Bronfenbrenner of Cornell University and Dr. Stephanie Luce of the 
University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The authors conducted an extensive media-tracking exercise that examined a 
broad array of media sources for
news of firm and job relocations. The study covered the period January 1, 
2004 to March 31, 2004, and
constitutes a follow-up to a prior study done for the Commission covering 
the period October 1, 2000 to April
30, 2001.
Commission Chairman C. Richard D’Amato stated that “This important study 
attempts to fill a severe
knowledge gap in our understanding of the nature and scope of U.S. 
production shifts to China and elsewhere.
The Commission has been on the front lines of urging Congress to enact 
corporate reporting requirements to
get this vital information, and this report further highlights the need for 
such measures.”
Among the key findings of the study are the following:
   Production shifts out of the US particularly to Mexico, China, India, 
and other Asian countries have seen
a major increase in the last three years.
   The pace of job shifts to China has grown considerably over the last 
three years. Over the same period,
job shifting to India has grown at a faster pace – albeit from a much lower 
base. During just the first three
months of this year, there were 58 such shifts to China documented across a 
range of industries as
compared to 25 shifts to China during a similar period in 2001.
   The report projects that nearly 100,000 jobs will move from the U.S. to 
China as a result of production
shifts in 2004 based on extrapolating the data it collected during the 
limited period of the study.
   The report’s media tracking methodology likely only “captures 
approximately two-thirds of production
shifts to Mexico and about a third of production estimates to other 
countries”. Accordingly, “these data
suggest that in 2004 as many as 406,000 jobs will be shifted from the US to 
other countries compared to
204,000 jobs in 2001,” of which nearly a quarter will go to China.
   Production shifts, with consequent employment loss, have spread across 
the economy and now affect
sophisticated manufacturing industries, services, and information technology.
   All regions of the country are impacted by these shifts, but the 
Mid-West has been especially hard hit.
   Companies that are engaged in production shifts “tend to be large, 
publicly held, highly profitable, and
well established.”
   The principal motive for production shifts to China is cost reduction 
rather than producing for the Chinese
   The number of jobs lost because of production shifts far exceeds that 
reported by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics in its report on mass layoffs due to overseas relocation.
   Trade adjustment assistance to workers laid-off owing to overseas job 
relocation is poor, covering less
than one-third of the cases where production shifts occur.
In their report, the authors note that “three years after our original 
report to the USCC, there continues to be
no government mandated reporting system to track production shifts out of 
the US.” In its 2002 Annual
Report to Congress, the Commission recommended that Congress enact a 
corporate reporting system to
capture such data. The vital need for just such a system is highlighted by 
the results of the author’s work.
The full report is posted to the Commissions web site – The 
Commission welcomes
comments by researchers and interested parties on the contents, methodology 
and findings of the Cornell-
UMass report.
If you are interested in receiving regular updates about the Commission's 
activities via fax or email, or would
like to update your contact information or unsubscribe to our updates, 
please email your contact information
to us at We will promptly add, update or delete your 
contact information.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at
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(58-212) 573-4111
fax: (58-212) 573-7724

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