The Made in Canada Challenge

Over Xmas and New Years, we went to Montreal.  Why north in the winter?  Well, when you get back, it really seems refreshingly balmy at home.  Think about it; the Canadian snowbirds have it backwards.  They should go to Greenland for winter vacations, instead of Florida.

 Since I couldn’t find any Made in the USA clothing in America, I tried to find some Made in Canada clothing in Canada.  I did find one item in the Montreal Walmart, a belt, which I bought.  In the 8-story Bay department store (BTW, this is where E-Bay comes from) I asked a clerk if there was any men’s clothing made in Canada; he said no with some regret.  I did find a cap, which I bought.

What has this got to do with S&T?  Well, manufacturing is the business end of the innovation cycle; that’s where the money is made to recoup R&D investments.  By ceding this phase to other nations, the US, and now Canada, is giving up on the opportunity to actually make money from S&T.  I don’t think that is a sustainable policy.

 R. D. Shelton

2 thoughts on “The Made in Canada Challenge

  1. Alistair Brett

    If manufacturing facilities keep moving to lower wage cost locations then what is “plan B?” One US chip manufacturer in Indonesia is adding a greater R&D component to its manufacturing work in the country. We also know that US industry has, over the last decade or more, moved some of what was once considered core R&D out of the US. This continues to be of benefit to the developing world – especially to countries that have reached middle-income status.

    Therefore, if it is simply a fact that the trend you cite will in fact continue, then instead of trying to stop it, what can be done instead? When the US textile industry faded Milliken & Co moved to high-end textile products in sectors such as aerospace. Perhaps there are some lessons there? Much has been written on this issue and I don’t claim to be an expert. Let’s hope other will contribute.

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