Friendshoring: what is it and can it solve our supply problems?
Offshoring was followed by reshoring – and now US officials’ latest wheeze to deal with massive global supply chain disruption is “friendshoring”. The turbulent events of recent years – including Donald Trump’s trade wars, the Covid-19 crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – have called into question the vision of a globalised economy.
Many of the western companies that embraced offshoring – cutting costs by shifting manufacturing to countries with cheaper labour – have been encouraged by tariffs and pandemic supply chain disruption to bring production back to their home country, in a trend known as onshoring or reshoring.
However, in a report on America’s supply chains earlier this year, the Biden administration warned: “The United States cannot make, mine, or manufacture everything ourselves. We must cooperate with our allies …
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