Your story on Ampac Packaging LLC in the Dec. 16 issue (“Ampac entering China, expanding in Ohio,” Page 1) is pointed to the truth. The United States is going to lose more ground to the Far East in all manufacturing areas.
There is no way a U.S. manufacturer can cut costs to compete with China and make a profit. Sorry, but you don't have to have an MBA to figure it out.
Not only is the plastics industry feeling the blunt end of the Far East, but the U.S. paper industry is finding foreign paper sales into the United States. The U.S. steel industry is bankrupt and only surviving because of some tariffs in place now. But, overall, the steel industry in the United States is dead.
The U.S. consumer benefits from all this, but at the expense of exporting new jobs. There is no need to have immigration into this country if the work force here is not working.
The United States is at a great transition point in economic history. We are going to a service and information society now. Smokestack industries are dead or dying. In order to stop the process, we would have to invoke high tariffs to keep our industries floating, or go to government subsidization. Overpopulation has made labor cheap. Advanced technology and cheap energy have made it possible to build more with less and at lower costs. This trend will continue until all industries find that the main problem of the future is getting people to buy their products.
We are overproducing on a worldwide scale. Look at the number of new cars on dealer lots. Overpopulation and overproduction have created environmental problems for the planet and greater social problems for nations.
There is no counterweight to balance this problem. It is not possible to feed everyone and give them housing and work. This is not doom and gloom; it is a fact of life that when a species of animal overpopulates an area it affects the environment and a counterbalance in nature appears.
The question you must ask is: Is having our industry exported part of the balance?” I say yes. The United States was a high-floating ship. We are now sinking in relation to other rising industrial nations. What does the future hold for U.S. industry? More of the same. We will have less industry as this century goes forward. There will always be a core of need and supported plants for defense purposes, but consumer products will continue to be imported in greater numbers.
You can not fight the force that comes with open trade on a global basis. To survive you need to move into service business and information services. Research and development and high technology are growth areas for new business. If you want to make steel or plastic, you will have a tough time of it.
One last note: Why is it that the Far East can buy resins at 15-20 percent less than U.S. buyers? Maybe we need to look at the resin makers for some of our problems. Seems to me the U.S. buyer is getting jacked around if that is true.
Agency Fibers Ltd.