GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd’s campaign and political ads have tried to reduce the core concerns of Tennesseans to a three-word tagline: “faith, family and a good paying job.” At the same time, Boyd’s company, Radio Systems Corporation, has offshored and outsourced those “good paying jobs” to China and engineers around the world.
Rather than invest in U.S. based production the way his father did, Boyd’s company, “the world’s leading dog and cat products supplier,” which has the PetSafe and Invisible Fence brands, began manufacturing its products in China in 1993, two years after he launched his business, claiming that it was “a move that improved our product quality, prices, and reliability.”
“Offshoring” is a term used to describe the manufacturing of a product in a country where labor, energy and other production costs are lower than in the country where the company that will sell the product, is located. Enhanced profits for the seller and a less expensive product often drive the decision to manufacture overseas:
Unlike outsourcing, offshoring is primarily a geographic activity. In the West, goods are expensive because the staff required to produce and distribute them are costly. In the developing world, by contrast, vast inexpensive labor pools provide an easy bedrock for a low-cost economy.
Offshoring takes advantage of these cost differentials by relocating factories from costly countries to the cheaper economies in order to sell the goods back in the West at a hefty discount (and profit). Alongside technological improvements, it has been the decades of productive offshoring that has lowered the costs of consumer goods such as clothing and electronics.
According to The Brownsville Herald reporting on a presentation to the Brownsville Economic Development Council by Rosemary Coates, executive director of the Reshoring Institute at the University of San Diego, the effects of offshoring manufacturing jobs “was devastating” to some communities:
Between 2001 and 2007, 2.7 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost to offshoring, Coates said. American workers being forced to train their Chinese replacements presented a particularly galling picture, she said. All that offshoring was devastating to communities that lost manufacturing plants, Coates said.
According to Coates, considered an expert in global supply chain and Chinese manufactured products, even with rising labor costs in China it is still cheaper to manufacture there than in the U.S. “because of lax safety standards and practices.”
Radio Systems Corporation, however, did not stop with simply offshoring its manufacturing operations to China. The company subsequently expanded its China operations in 2005, to include outsourcing its research and development work at the China Development Center located in Shenzhen.
A 2009, write-up under Boyd’s PetSafe business label noted that the umbrella company Radio Systems Corporations invests around $14 million annually in Research & Development and maintains “70 engineers around the world.”
“Outsourcing” is a decision made by a company to have a function that could otherwise be performed in-house, contracted to an outside entity. Taking advantage of lower salaries in foreign countries as compared to the U.S. is cited as one reason companies decide to outsource it’s R&D work. “In addition, the materials and actual cost of location for the research center can be less expensive offshore. One of the key advantages of outsourcing R&D is also often related to US regulations surrounding R&D.”
R&D is considered the life-blood of profit for a company that will manufacture the next best product in its field to keep the company ahead of its competitors.
Reshoring expert Coates along with other groups such as American Jobs Alliance and the Coalition for a Prosperous America, are calling for bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., and see it as a path to restoring prosperity to the middle class. This one aspect of bringing back those jobs, is, according to Coates, “directly related to the economic health of communities.”
How Randy Boyd made his personal wealth is very much entwined with the globalists in the Republican party who are working overtime to undermine Trump’s economic nationalist agenda. Boyd brought the same thinking to his position as Commissioner of Economic & Community Development focusing on bringing foreign investment to the state rather than the “made in America” label.