iphone © Kamachi209
© Kamachi209

Exploring the nuanced implications of the China-US trade war can be fascinating. Take this article from the New York Times, which has looked at Apple’s MacPro supply chain and come to the conclusion that no matter how much Donald Trump blusters about the return of manufacturing jobs to the US, the reality is that the country simply doesn’t have the capacity, in terms of production facilities and available labour with the right set of skills, to match  Chinese manufacturers. In 2012, Apple tried to begin manufacturing its MacPro computer in Texas. “Tests of new versions of the computer were hamstrung because a 20-employee machine shop that Apple’s manufacturing contractor was relying on could produce, at most, 1,000 screws a day. The screw shortage was one of several problems that postponed sales of the computer for months. By the time the computer was ready for mass production, Apple had ordered screws from China.” The world’s largest company is continuing to look at ways of diversifying its supply base – most obviously by looking at alternatives in Vietnam and India – but progress is slow.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.