How Natural Gas is Bringing Jobs Back to America


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Blake Bos: You spoke about manufacturing and innovation. We've seen a lot of these companies come back overseas with "onshoring." We've seen a lot of these manufacturing jobs come back to the United States. I was wondering if you could highlight what's going on in the sector as far as that goes.

Isaac Pino: I think that dovetails nicely with the conversation we were just having about corporate profits. You would think, at the outset, that energy is going to increasingly be a higher contribution to expenses.

Oil costs are going up; you're having to drill in deeper and more remote locations around the world for traditional oil, but you also have this natural gas revolution that's taking place, so companies like 3M are investing in natural gas, natural gas engines, some of the materials that go into that.

3M, GE , Honeywell , all the big names in my sector, are starting to move some of the jobs back to the States because natural gas is cheap, so manufacturing can subsequently be cheap, and transportation costs are increasing, so it's easier to have the jobs shift to the U.S., perhaps Mexico, Canada, and have better control and visibility into what's going on in all parts of your supply chain.

I think outsourcing as we know it, at least in manufacturing, is done. I think some segments of the economy, it's retail -- whether it's the old fashioned ...

Blake: Textiles.

Isaac: ... textiles, exactly -- will still be done because there's not a lot of value add in those opportunities, but recently there was a great article about the onshoring boom, about General Electric moving back to Appliance Park, Kentucky, which is just a historically phenomenal plant.

When it was built, back in the day, to produce refrigerators and appliances, it was cutting-edge by every description, every aspect of it. Today, it's starting to be revitalized and I think that's a trend that we'll continue to see.

GE talks about it happening, over and over. They're exploring different opportunities around the world, but bringing a lot of the jobs back to the U.S. to control the supply chain.

Blake: Yeah. Something I've noticed as well, the real wages in China are going up.

Isaac: Very true.

Blake: For example, the Foxconn factory recently said that they were going to replace a million workers with robots, so there's a lot of complexities, and like you said onshoring will become more popular as those real wages come up and things are cheaper and they can bring the jobs overseas. That's good.

Thanks, Isaac. Thanks for your analysis. I appreciate it. I encourage everybody to get on, go do some research on all these great manufacturing companies. They could have a very compelling story, going forward in the future. Fool on!

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Blake Bos has no position in any stocks mentioned. Isaac Pino, CPA owns shares of General Electric Company. The Motley Fool recommends 3M. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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