Red Dots And Other Things Not Made In The U.S.

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a mildly interesting video, but I neither have heroes nor get involved in drama.  The most interesting part to me was this comment.

Hop is spot on about where the RD’s come from. I do have one caveat about the claim about the PCBs however. I’ve worked in the industry as a consultant and the number one question I was getting from CEOs and CMOs was how to make sure they stay legal with “Made in USA” and “Assembled in USA” regulations and how much in fines they can expect to pay when they violate them. And almost everyone violates them. In many countries, including the United States, there are strict regulations governing these labels. To be labeled as “Made in USA,” a product generally must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States. This means that a significant portion of the product’s total manufacturing costs must be incurred in the US, and the final assembly or processing of the product must also occur in the U.S. This is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The supply chain for everything is global and massive. You’d be shocked if I told you how few things are “honest to God” made here (that actually satisfy FTC compliance). The number of US-located CNC machines, the cornerstone of modern manufacturing, is such a tiny percentage of World’s CNC fleet that I immediately distrust the “Made in USA” certification of origin of some small part (and large parts too). I’m also highly skeptical when manufacturers claim that their PCBs are made here. We’d need to have 20-25x more PCB manufacturing plants for the amount of PCBs that are claimed to be “Made in the USA”. Don’t believe me? Just call up some of the PCB manufactures and try to get some quotes and lead time. You’ll quickly realize that your product will be ready in 2 years time and it will cost 2-3x what your C-suite is asking for. Even the F-35 contractors got into hot water when it was found that most of the PCBs that were “Made in the US” were actually Made in China. Even today, most of the multi-layer, high-speed/high-frequency, PCBs for F-35 are Made in China. A fact that everyone sweeps under the rug now.

This is honestly a very sad thing.  America lost its ability to do large steel construction long ago with the demise of that work in Pennsylvania, the ports in Virginia and a couple of places in Alabama. Thus, today we can no longer fabricate large sea-going vessels such as battleships or carriers. Even the reactor vessels for Catawba Nuclear Station were made in the Rotterdam shipyard.

Optical quality glass is obviously made now only in Germany and Japan.

I guess it’s the same for printed circuit boards. What a shame and a sham that we cannot make our own electronics. You can blame our rulers for that as they whored themselves after globalism.  The whole thing is ridiculous and it’s not only a sad commentary on our competitiveness, but national security as well.

I thought after the Covid scam Ford intended to start up manufacturing of PCBs in America? I don’t know how that’s going.


Comments

  1. On January 1, 2024 at 10:09 am, george 1 said:

    What I have never understood is this. The neocons running most policy in the U.S. and the West in General obviously want to dominate the entire world. They prefer to do this with military power. The offshoring and deindustrailization of the U.S. is ensuring that their power is eroding away.

    So why would the powers that be destroy their means to dominate the planet? That is precisely what they are doing.

  2. On January 1, 2024 at 8:15 pm, Ricky Bobby said:

    I must take exception to your comment RE not having capacity to make carriers. I worked 20 years at the shipyard in VA. I can assure you, they still have capability to make large steel construction. They dont build large commercial sea going vessels because it doesn’t meet their business model as a naval shipbuilder. They tried commercial building in the 80s and 90s, lost their shirt. Went back to Uncle Sugar.

    I am in the industry, there are more than a few large metal mills in the US.

  3. On January 1, 2024 at 10:13 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Do you think we could build a battle ship or air craft carrier from scratch now?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2021/07/23/us-shipbuilding-is-at-its-lowest-ebb-ever-how-did-america-fall-so-far/?sh=28486d9b6c87

    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2022/january/better-way-build-ships#:~:text=While%20all%20would%20prefer%20a%20ship%20that%20is,components%20are%20no%20longer%20made%20in%20this%20country.

  4. On January 3, 2024 at 11:25 am, Ricky Bobby said:

    What makes you think the Ford class isn’t being built “from scratch” now? Or for that matter, the VA class submarine? The reason shipbuilding, or any other heavy industry, is at a low point is not due to material capacity but skill and tribal knowledge. We were lamenting the brain drain of skilled shipbuilders in the 90s. The main reason we cant compete in commercial shipbuilding is because the business model is so completely different than the cost plus naval model (RE your second article).

    It would take an initiative akin to the moon landing to make US commercial shipbuilding competitive with our foreign competitors inside of 30 years.

    I am encouraged, however, by the trend towards apprenticeships for non-college bound youth (my son being one). Unfortunately it seems to be lead by foreign firms, mostly German.

    I opine the issues to domestic manufacturing, especially heavy industry, is cultural, not capacity. I have personally worked on presses and plate bending machines that would stupify the comprehension of most technically minded folks.

  5. On January 3, 2024 at 11:33 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I never implied or stated directly that we have no metal. You made my point for me.

    Skill. Demand. Business model. The proclivity to send all of this overseas.

    That was my point – and I think you agreed with it.

  6. On January 3, 2024 at 5:55 pm, Ricky Bobby said:

    Then I missed your point, I read your word ability as capacity – my mistake. That said, even if manufacturing is less than 10% of our GDP, we still a considerable amount of durable goods ability and capacity in the US.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Politics and was published December 31st, 2023 by Herschel Smith.

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