Are reshoring and nearshoring of manufacturing imminent and inevitable?
The coronavirus pandemic has once again brought to the fore the “manufacturing reshoring and nearshoring” debate. This time around, the conversation has focused on medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment, that ran low during the peak of the first viral wave to hit the United States and several European countries in March. Export restrictions freshly implemented by China, and severely curtailed cargo capacity in both passenger and commercial flights because of travel restrictions, created a shortage of masks, gowns, gloves and other supplies required by medical practitioners. Though domestic production eventually ramped up, it fell short of requirements, and federal programs akin to wartime efforts were launched to source critical supplies. The Strategic National Stockpile failed to meet the needs of several states, which eventually had to resort to sourcing supplies from private vendors in limited quantities at egregious prices. All of this focused the attention