This is the end of the beginning.
The diversification of TSMC in the U S. Likely puts Taiwan in more danger of a forced invasion.
This is great and going into my What I'm Reading List this week. Thank you for a top read and a copy of a speech I otherwise would not have seen.
Semiconductors are not a natural resource you can start processing again after the devastation of war. If there is an invasion there will be no need to sabotage the plants, the process will stop and it won't come back online.
Not so fast, white boys! A friend, a director-level employee with an engineering background who has worked with multiple multinational companies in various capacities, but has been primarily based in the US sees it this way: "American manufacturing moved to China not because of dumb labor, but because you could hire high IQ people for dirt cheap. If your machine broke down, no problem; some Chinese guy (with basically a masters in EE) would pull out the circuit boards and using probes and other instrumentation determine what board needed replacing and he would work annually for a fraction of the salary of his equivalent in the US.
Manufacturing in the US is a nightmare: at our US facility our only requirement for a assembler was a high school degree, US citizenship, passing a drug and criminal background check and then passing a simple assembly test: looking at an assembly engineering drawing and then putting the components together. The vast majority of Americans were unable to complete the assembly test, while for our facility in China they completed it in half the time and 100% of the applicants passed. An assembler position in the US would average maybe 30 interviews a day and get 29 rejections, not to mention all the HR hassles of assemblers walking off shift, excessive lateness, stealing from work, slow work speed and poor attitudes.
The product line is highly specialized equipment, so it makes no sense to fully automate it, most of the components are assembled by hand and for certain steps we use custom engineered jigs. And for those saying that the position wasn't paying enough, it paid $12 an hour starting in an area with an extremely low cost of living where property taxes for a 2000 square foot house would be $800-$1000 a year. Assemblers don’t make $150K. An assembler takes parts and puts them together. The position starts at $12 an hour in flyover country which is pretty reasonable compared to other jobs that only require a GED and no prior work experience. Offers medical, dental and annual raises with plenty of opportunity to move up in the company. The national average salary for a Production Assembler is $33,029 in United States, which is what you would be making if you stayed for 5+ years.
Finding an American worker capable of passing these simple requirements and passing the assembly test is merely impossible nevermind being competent, punctual and of good moral character (not stealing from company or starting conflicts with coworkers). And these are the main groups that apply for this position. The same exact product line has the same facility in China, and the same positions in China pays the same wages as other positions there with only a high school degree and no work experience. Yet the applicant quality is much higher, and this applies as well to the white collar professions that support the manufacturing: schedulers, quality inspectors, equipment testers and calibrators, engineers, supply chain managers, account managers, sales etc....their labor quality is simply higher. I suspect the blacks and Hispanics are probably too dumb to get affirmative action too dumb to go to college, so they probably average 75 IQ and their Chinese equivalents are probably 95 but the performance gap is massive.
The Anglo sphere only celebrates itself, as far as cultural/newsworthy "happenings" or attentive listening time. Everything else is either subject to ridicule (Toyota Prius) or meh ...(TSMC, here). Sad. But Elon Musk on the other hand....
The recognition during the Trump administration that CN was using US technology and market access to sell, while denying fair trade in return, led to the first retaliation by the US.
COVID restrictions staggered the world economy and led to more concern about mercantilism and risks with the global supply chain.
The perceived weakness of leadership in the Biden administration influenced the Putin decision to invade and the Xi decision to support the invader.
The unified global supply chain is now a fast fading memory. Materiel of war flows in regional chains between allies. Dual use technologies will continue to be separated and controlled. And simple consumer products will be the last items to be reshored or ally shored.
CN moves to ensure it's food supply with South America, ensure it's raw material supplies with Africa, and it's energy supplies with Russia and Saudi Arabia. Political efforts to reduce dependency on the dollar within new trading arrangements are necessary to break US hegemony.
All businesses must react to these changes or perish as others react and take advantage of the shift.
This chip factory in the US will probably never get off the ground because the Biden regime will force affirmative action hiring policies on it. You can't run a profitable company when you are forced to babysit a large portion of your employees.
I was quoting Morris Chang, the founder-Chairman of TSMC. He's been working on it in AZ for three years and is very pessimistic.
Watch David Byrne's movie, 'True Stories'.
Got a link to the original speech?