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Letter to the Editor: Manufacturing innovation

Monday, April 16, 2012

We know our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, and we assume our corporations have plants producing our electronic computers, TVs, iPhones, iPads, etc. Not so. They work out a purchase contract with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. LTD (operating as Foxconn) in Taiwan. Foxconn is now the world's largest and fastest growing electronic manufacturer. They produce computers, consumer electronics, communication, televisions as well as cable assemblies, flat panel displays and mother board displays. Foxconn provides design, engineering, mechanical tooling, and is recognized as a leader and innovator of technical knowledge. They have accumulated over 25,000 patents and have operations in China, Brazil, Europe, India, Taiwan, Malaysia and Mexico., everywhere except United States. Foxconn has become the most trustworthy contract manufacturer in the world. Customers in the U.S. include Amazon, Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Motorola, IBM and Visa.

Apple, Dell and IBM are responsible for 90 percent of Foxconn sales in the U.S. Apple purchased 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products all manufactured overseas. Foxconn sales in May 2011 were over $200 billion. Apple contractor employees number over 700,000.

What are our chances of getting this manufacturing back in the U.S.? None, according to various executives of various corporations. Flexibility, diligence, and industrial skills outpace America, not just cheap labor.

Free trade is the basic cause of our problem so putting tariffs on all electronic items, dealing directly with Foxconn and the corporations, offering incentives, (Right To Work law) is our only hope.

Jack H. Knowlan Sr., Jackson