I read "Ford, GM push vendors toward China" (June 23) and your follow-up piece "Buying from China: A moral puzzle"(July 7).
I have worked as a location consultant for almost 30 years and can say that the relocation of manufacturing of all types (not just automotive) to overseas locations is rising at a very rapid rate. I predict that within 10-15 years China will far surpass the United States as the world leader in manufacturing, and India will be the world's technological leader.
The continued loss of manufacturing jobs will have a devastating effect on our social and economic makeup, especially the middle class. Without manufacturing jobs, the socio-economic makeup of the nation will become increasingly two classes, lower and upper.
As our middle class diminishes in size and that of China's grows, there will be a major change in world markets. The lion's share of automobiles, and other products, are purchased by the middle class.
There are solutions to this problem, but they must be acted on now. Unfortunately, those solutions require political action, and most (not all) politicians have difficulty seeing beyond the next election.
At the federal level, little is being done; at the state level, Michigan, South Carolina, Georgia and a handful of others are making the effort. Some of the states with the most to lose are doing the least.
I have worked with many companies that have made a valiant effort to keep their manufacturing in the United States but were forced to succumb to their customers' demands for lower- and lower-priced products.