štvrtok, 30. júna 2011

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  • pappu
    07-13 08:28 AM
    I commend the initiative. But I see a few issues with it:

    You are complaining to DOS about USCIS and DOL. That will not work. Every agency has a specific role

    You are complaining to the official who sets visa dates. He has no authority to give relief just because some applicant/s are asking for it. He has to follow the rule every month and his responsibility is only to set the dates based on the statistics received from USCIS. This official has a very specific and limited role.

    The reasons are not compelling enough. You cannot just say you are waiting long enough and thus your date should become current. Rules cannot be changed just for that reason.

    If economy was down in 2001- 2003 and you were asked to file in EB3 and people in Perm could file in EB2 is your strongest reason, it may not work in your favor. Because by law you can file again and convert to EB2 and port your date. DOL and USCIS does not stop you from doing that.

    If you are qualified for EB2 but your attorney and employer filed in EB3, then it is not a fault of USCIS/DOL/DOS. You must talk to the company and the lawyer for it. If the company or the lawyer has broken any rule or employer has exploited you, then the letter should be complain to the appropriate authority about them.

    Please also note that labor is filed based on the degree and experience requirement of the job. By law if the requirement is only undergraduate degree for the job, the employer cannot file in EB2 just because the applicant has a masters degree or more experience than needed. So you cannot really put this arguement here because it will be against the rules.

    So I personally do not think this idea will work.

    While this mess is depressing for EB3 folks, we need to have a more compelling argument, determined membership and effective plan to get things changed.
    The root cause of the problem is limited greencard quota for EB3. And the solution is to get recapture, get rid of country limits, STEM exemption. Any single relief itself will be huge for all of us. With 179 phone calls and $16656 collected in last 3 months, I do not see that happening. It will need a far more bigger and determined effort. Such amount can be spent on full scale lobbying in just one month. 179 phone calls are nothing if we have to make a compelling case for ourselves.




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  • rockstart
    07-14 02:07 PM
    See if things spill horizontally or vertically Eb3(I) is still last in the chain. So many people have demonstrated it. All these days Eb3 (ROW) was gaining from spill over. Now CIS feels that Eb2 takes preference over Eb3 ( which for practical purpose is ROW and not India/ China) so that is why Eb2 is moving forward, else like eb3 eb2 India was also struck. What you are asking is complete re-working of spill over rules. That is not what CIS can do on its own. The rule was always clear Eb1 spill goes to Eb2 and then to Eb2 if some one needs to complain it should be Eb2 who did not get these numbers much earlier.

    * When was it unclear?
    * Why did it take so long for USCIS to see that the law was unclear?
    * What caused USCIS to realize that the law was unclear?
    * What caused them to change their interpretation?
    * How did USCIS use up all of EB2-I numbers in the very first quarter? (Very illegal thing to do)

    Come on, dont be so picky. You know what I mean when I said USCIS changed the law. Dont argue on syntax.




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  • gc_chahiye
    08-02 06:44 PM
    I only know of one case where person was doing future base employment and invoked ac21 at his local office interview (law says you can do this) and stated he was going to work with someone else.

    USCIS adjudicator asked for a letter from the company that they had intent to hire him up until the 485 had been pending for more then six months. Company would not give the letter and his case was denied.

    this is interesting: If I invoke AC21, and get a letter from a new employer, they can still ask me for a letter from old employer saying they intended to hire me?? The fact that they submitted a future employment letter with my 485 and did not revoke the approved I-140 for 6 months not enough to prove that the intent remained at the end of 6 months?
    Did the USCIS officer suspect fraud or something? Is there a specific legal basis for this denial? I thought past 6 months there is no dependency on that old employer (future-employment or otherwise) and all depends on your new employer and his employment letter.




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  • NKR
    03-25 02:32 PM
    I completely agree that buying a house is a long term move. But I disagree with some of the points:

    1. Does rent always go up? No, my rent did not go up at all during the real estate boom as the number of ppl renting was low. Recently my rent has gone up only $75 pm. (love rent control!!!) So in 5 years, my monthly rent has gone up a total of $125 per month
    2. I hear about tax rebate for homeowners. But what about property tax?
    3. What about mortgage insurance payments?

    It is a misconception that 5-10 years is the cycle for real estate.

    Here's how in a sane real estate market the cycle should work:

    No population influx in your area or there is no exodus from your area:
    Your real estate ownership should be 25 years because that's when the next generation is ready to buy houses.

    However, in places like SF Bay Area/new York/Boston where there is continuous influx of young working ppl this cycle can be reduced to 15-20 years.

    Over the last few years, nobody thought of longevity required to make money in RE. Now that it is tanking ppl are talking about 5-10 years. Unless you are buying in a booming place, your ownership has to be 15+ years to turn a real profit.

    This is purely the financial aspect of ownership. If you have a family I think its really nice to have a house but you don't have to really take on the liability. You can rent the same house for much less. But if you are clear in your mind that no matter what I am going to live in XYZ town/city for the next 20 years, go for it.

    As a sidenote for Indians. We all have either aging or soon to start aging parents. The way I see it, caring for aging parents is a social debt that we must pay back. This will need me to go back to India. Therefore, if you feel you need to care for your parents, don't commit to a house.



    When you sell, you need to pay 3% as commission to both the seller and buyer agent. You will break even as soon as the house appreciates 6% plus your closing costs, anything above that would be your profit.

    Now with the market going down, my guess as to when the house appreciates is as good as anybody else�s.

    As far as Rent vs Mortgage goes, I would go with owning a house and paying mortgage than being on rent, I just cannot live in an apartment anymore. Caring for aging parents is our duty and responsibility as much as providing a decent home to our children and giving them a life. If I can strike a balance and fulfill my duties to both, I am happy. Coming to think of it, sometimes I wonder why I did not buy the small house I am in a couple of years ago.



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  • Beemar
    12-27 01:19 PM
    LOL. and we know the kinda quality to expect :-)

    Oh yeah. Quality is a major problem with chinese goods. Pakistanis thought a got a great deal in price, but it might turn out be a lemon nuke. :)




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  • willwin
    07-13 04:01 PM
    At the outset, I am not against EB3, but lets think about this for a moment. Any logic that we use to break up spillover between EB2 and EB3 can also easily be applied to EB1 and EB2. I'll repeat an earlier post of mine. "How can EB1 of 2008 get the GC immediately when EB2-I (in my case) has to wait for more than 4 years - clearly preference is at play here".

    Any spilt will artificially retrogress EB2 more than what it otherwise would have. Similarly one can always argue to artificially retrogress EB1 to give more visas to EB2 just because someone from EB2 is waiting for 4 years.
    Isnt that against the law. Any break up of spill over visas invalidates the category preference as per current law.

    Please also note that any unfavorable change to the EB1 category based on a hypothetical approval of an EB2/EB3 break up will invite the attention of Fortune 500 companies and prestigious research/educational institutions (who use EB1 the most) with all their political and financial resources at their disposal. That could put a halt to everything.

    Irrational passion calls for dispassionate rationality.

    Delax, EB1 with PD 2008 is getting their GC within months not because they utilize an 100% spill over from 'somewhere'. It is just because they do not have enough applicants in the queue and hence no retrogression.

    Honestly, 'i don't think' the 'advantage' that EB3 and EB2 have - using spillover from other categories. Correct me if I was wrong.



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  • surabhi
    03-25 10:57 AM
    That case was decided in 2000 after the h-1b had been filed; denied; appealed; though on layer of court and then finally decided by this court. This is why it is difficult to challenge USCIS; it takes years and years for it to weave though the system.

    USCIS could have used this case many years ago; however, vermont service center didn't apply the principles of this case until 2007. Once; senators/congressmen started putting pressure on them to start getting tough.

    Although they think there may be gaming of the system; they have to find a legal way to teach people a lessson. This case is what they can legally do to deny h-1b's.

    Thanks for the link. Essentially there are 2 issues here

    1. Proving that Employee - Employer relationship exists between H1 beneficiary and employer. The ability to hire, pay, supervise and fire should be demonstrated.
    In cases where it is denying, USCIS is of opinion that the employer is in contract, manpower agency and their variants.

    This is somewhat analogous to similar test done by IRS to establish emploee-employer relationship in case of independent contractors.

    Not sure if it would make much difference, but if the petition letter demonstrates that the employer has control over the employee required matters, provide equipment (laptop etc) and that employer is primarily not in manpower business, it may fly.

    2. Second issue is about need to bachelors degree and that computer programming is speciality occupation. I think there are clear precedents on this with guidance memos from USCIS agreeing that computer analyst /programmer is indeed a speciality occupation and that bachelors degree is a minimum requirement.

    I am unable to attach actual doc on this message because of size limitations. But here is summary quoting from murthy.com

    "In a December 22, 2000 memorandum from INS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) Director Terry Way to NSC Adjudications Officers, NSC acknowledges the specialized and complex nature of most Computer Programming positions. The memo describes both Computer Programmers and Programmer Analysts as occupations in transition, meaning that the entry requirements have evolved as described in the above paragraph.


    Therefore, NSC will generally consider the position of Computer Programmer to be a specialty occupation. The memo draws a distinction between a position with actual programming duties (programming and analysis, customized design and/or modification of software, resolution of problems) and one that simply involves entering computer code for a non-computer related business.

    The requirements in the OOH have evolved from bachelor's degrees being generally required but 2-year degrees being acceptable; to the current situation with bachelor's degrees again being required, while those with 2-year degrees can qualify only for some lower level jobs."




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  • msp1976
    04-07 08:31 AM
    Members working for consulting companies can talk to their employers about this. Let us know their response.

    The employers are not gonna be worried about it..

    Many of these restrictions were passed for the L1 program some 1 year back.
    I know many people on L1 still working at client sites and no one even saying peep about it...

    This is what I heard from a friend who is a employee of a NYSE listed firm with 100+ million turnover...He and a few more on L1 raised this question to their company lawyer.. The company lawyer had many arguments to defend their position. For example 'If DOL raises a question, the company would say we have offices at multiple locations one at each client site..'There is a small army of lawyers on the company's retainer and they are not afraid at all...They told the L1 employees to calm down and leave it to them....There are many creative ways in which to structure the consulting deals and the law is worth the paper it is printed on.....

    DOL is gonna have 200 more employees for the enforcement...200 is nothing frankly...Then they have to funded every year...May be congress would not fund the additional 200. Governments never have the will to go after the businesses....So the law would look very restrictive on paper and no real impact.....I know as a fact that the L1 restriction law had absolutely no impact...

    The net scenario would really depend on what happens during the first year or so...Suppose USCIS starts denying applications and they deny 10K applications...Then 5K and more of these appeal the denial and in the end sue the USCIS ..Do not forget to remember that CIR is passed and the USCIS is loaded with the legalization workload...The appeals system and the immigration courts would get swamped with these cases...As long as the case is in the appeal or the court, they employee continues to work.....The employees would have problems with the Drivers license and like but some would stick it out...Once USCIS appeals system and courts system gets overloaded with the case load...USCIS and the US attorneys would lose their will power to try to enforce the law......
    I do not know the details of judicial review for H1 denials and I did not see anything in this law curtailing the judicial review of H1B petitions...So a lot is subjective about the law.....Many laws never have their intended impact it just goes sits in some corner...



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  • smuggymba
    07-30 11:53 AM
    I emailed Sen Hutchinson from Texas to vote NO for the DREAM Act and I called it "Organized and Controlled" amnesty as illegal kids who will get GCs will be able to sponsor their illegal parents for GC after 4 years.

    All the illegals who have kids in college will get get GC's in 4 yrs after their kids pass college while EB3 has to wait for 20 years. This is a joke. Look at the reply from the Sen below:

    On March 26, 2009, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced S. 729, the DREAM Act, which would allow states to offer in-state tuition rates to long-term resident immigrant students. The bill also would allow certain long-term residents who entered the United States as children to have their immigration or residency status adjusted to conditional permanent resident status or permanent resident status. The DREAM Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, on which I do not serve. Should S. 729 come before the full Senate, you may be certain I will keep your views in mind.




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  • GCScrewed
    07-13 08:29 PM
    I dont agree at all!!!!!!!

    How can you give consideration to people already in line at the expense of other people from a higher preference category also waiting patiently in line. Regardless of the duration of the wait EB3 is a lower prefrence category and will remain so under any interpretation. Remember that even under the 'old' interpretation EB3-I only got visa numbers after passing through the EB3 ROW and the EB2-I gate.

    Notwithstanding the 'new' interpretation, an argument can always be made that the 'old' interpretation was not only wrong but blatantly wrong where EB3ROW was given preference over an EB2 retro country.

    The only fix for this is elimination of country cap and/or increase in number of visas. The means to acheive that goal may be legislative or administrative. I'll defer to the experts on that!

    Can't beleive people can sound so arrogant. That's exactly some of the hispanic politicians unwilling to provide any relief to any employment based immigration. Some people think they are "superior" than others, the so called "smartest", "brightest", "highly skilled". A country like the US needs people from a diverse background. It does not need all the Phds or masters. It needs chefs, agriculture workers, doctors, nurses, business persons, all backgrounds. Can you imagine that this country only consists of Phds? That's why when arguing why EB applicants should be given relieve first and then illegals, we should not sound we are "superior". Rather we should simply state our confidence about the integrity of the legal system.

    As far as the so called "preference", how are you going to catergorize those under EB4, EB5, etc.? The so called "preference" is a myth. Otherwise, the law would only allow a "lower" perference to get a green card until all the "higher" ones get theirs. It is not the case, isn't? Rather it gives a % limit for each category.



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  • eager_immi
    02-02 12:22 PM
    this info is for lou dobbs and he can search for this information in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (for all the middle-class that can get free information, most likey coded by an H1B)

    [edit] Taxation status of H-1B workers
    H-1B workers are legally required to pay the same taxes as any other US resident, including Social Security and Medicare.[2] Any person who spends more than 183 days in the US in a calendar year is a tax resident and is required to pay US taxes on their worldwide income. From the IRS perspective, it doesn't matter if that income is paid in the US or elsewhere. If an H-1B worker is given a living allowance, it is treated the same by the IRS as any other US resident. In some cases, H-1B workers pay higher taxes than a US citizen because they are not entitled to certain deductions (eg. head of household deduction amongst many others). Some H-1B workers are not eligible to receive any Social Security or Medicare benefits unless they are able to adjust status to that of permanent resident.[3] However, if their country of citizenship has a tax agreement with the United States, they are able to collect the Social Security they've earned even if they don't gain permanent residency there. Such agreements are negotiated between the United States and other countries, typically those which have comparable standards of living and public retirement systems




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  • NolaIndian32
    09-28 07:58 PM
    I agree 100% with the quote below; if Durbin gets his way, there will be no light at the end of the tunnel for the EB community.

    I have been in the US, legally for 14+ years. I have stayed within the law, regulations to get my green card, but still after 8 years in this antiquated and dysfunctional process, I am "in queue". Twice I have had to turn down promotions to executive level within my organization because of restrictions of "same to similar" regulation. Even my CEO is frustrated with this situation. If Durbin has his way, I can no longer afford to put my life on hold. I will be forced to sell my house and relocate to Canada.

    McCain supports immigration for legally employed immigrants. I pray that he wins the election this November.



    After 8 yrs of Bush, I sure am ready for Democrats to take over. America needs a change. But Sen. Obama's victory will surely spell doom and gloom for the EB community - of which I am one.

    I have been in the United States for 9 years - LEGALLY. I have bent over backwards to follow the letter of the law, irrespective of how convoluted it is. My kids are American Citizens. I pay taxes and contribute to the American economy. We even bought a house here in the hope that we can settle down in America. Me and my husband hold executive level positions in major multinationals. Here is the absolute kicker - I work in Satellite Telecommunications and my company supports the United States Government (DoD) and its contractors/ sub contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan!!

    We wanted Democrats to win...but guess what - the failed CIR 2007 woke us up to the fact that Sen. Durbin will never make it easy for us EB immigrants. His hostility towards this community forced us to secure the Canadian PR. We have a little bit more time to decide when we want to move there before our PR expires. If things don't take a turn for the better on the Immigration front, we will move to Canada. I just dread having to sell the house here though!!

    Till date, I only see Durbin driving immigration - and it is definitely against teh EB community. My question to Sen.Obama - what do you have to offer to us, the highly skilled immigrants? Would you rather we just liquidate all our assets (home, stocks, bonds, vehicles, etc) here in America and take it with us to another country that is more welcoming???



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  • niklshah
    08-05 08:24 PM
    "Originally Posted by lfwf
    I have seen you post before, and with this post you lost some of my respect. You need to be rational and coherent if you want to debate the issue. Not emotional and silly."

    More hollow rhetoric from lfwf... someone that fails to see coherent logic and arguments made out in posts and instead claims that there is none :). Maybe, Inglis is the prablem, eh? LOL.

    Obviously, lfwf's 'respect' is worth a lot ;)

    I've gotten my days worth of laughs reading these protectionist jokers' weak arguments and empty threats of lawsuits.

    LOL!



    see how stupid highly educated community is?.....the guy who started the thread is not writing anything and people are fighting......

    the guy who wrote is definately not any of us i mean he is not in green card line.......

    people chill.....

    take it easy, when ur turn comes u will get ur gc.....try to participate in IV action item and donate if u can..

    i am an EB3




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  • Imigrait
    03-24 01:55 AM
    ok...this is something..

    apparently they called my employer also and has asked them to provide all details.

    All I-9s
    All performance appraisals
    my works schedule
    my vacation requests this year
    current salary
    supervisor details


    :)

    Are you sure they asked about performance appraisals? That's personal information . In fact, how are they going to justify why they need this information?



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  • dealsnet
    01-07 10:49 AM
    Satan (Lucipher) is trying to take people from god. He will not repent. He is taking more followers every day. They are called children of satan. They are brain washed. Prepared for hell. He want company of more human souls. So these things will repeat all over the world. I feel sorry for you guys.

    Keep barking the same thing again and again. This is not going to make even a small dent on my faith. The more you hate, the more we love our faith.




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  • BECsufferer
    06-20 10:28 AM
    Buying a home in US Now is a foolish thing to do. There are no green cards for Indians or Chinese. Hence we should not buy a home here. There is no long term security or equal opportunity. If we take all savings back, we can buy a house with cash and need not worry about interest. So until you get green cards, hold onto your money tight.

    Real estate is always a local phenomena. So those of you who are following national guidelines are misleading yourselves. Unless you are major investor, who would like to keep his/her real estate portfolio diverse, national level real estate indicator is not of much use.

    I bought a foreclosed house few months ago, but before that did thorough study at personal level. Not only analytically study your market, but also "go to genba". Feel the pulse, find where and what kind of people live in those sub-divisions.

    If you are leaning towards investing, lean with good intent. Avoid risk by thouroughly understanding your financial situation. I went with 30 yr fixed, to be conservative.

    Finally, have guts to make a call, either way. It's the right time, I would say.



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  • akgind
    08-05 04:01 PM
    "...We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.

    More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more."

    Where is the evidence? Interfiling has been legal for several years and yet EB2 PD is at 2006 whereas EB3 is still hovering around 2001. The fact is that interfiling benefits only a small fraction of EB3 filers.

    Rollong_Flood, you are misleading the entire IV community.




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  • ns33
    07-13 12:20 AM
    Great Job - Thanks for taking initiative... everyone please pitch in.




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  • xyzgc
    12-30 12:25 AM
    at the risk of adding to this "no longer relevant" thread - there is a huge difference between US and India gaining independence.....in case of the former - it was some Britishers now settled in America fighting other Britishers (loyalists to the throne) for autonomy and independence......

    India was perhaps the first successful example of natives gaining independence from a colonial European power....

    also - to brush up on some more history - India was not occupied in 1600 - actually East India Company was established in that year.....the real establishment and consolidation of territorial control happened between two historical events (Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Sepoy Mutiny in 1857).....if we consider the 1757 date as start of colonization in true earnest - then India was independent in 190 years (1947 - 1757) against your calculation of 189 years for USA (as per your post - 1789-1600) - so not bad for a mostly non-violent struggle :-)

    Also - one of the reasons Atlee thought it was too expensive to maintain colonies was because of all the Quit India and Civil Disobedience type regular movements -these movements took much political and military bandwidth that Britain simply did not have after the war.....if maitaining a colony was easy sailing - i doubt Britain would have given it up easily and we have to credit the non-violent movements for helping India becoming a pain in the neck for Britain......

    The British colonized the world using advanced weaponry, superior discipline, organized chain of commands within the forces, isolationist tactics, ground battle strategies and naval warfare.

    They came in as East India company traders, fought several battles and eventually defeated several Indian Kings to establish themselves as colonial masters.

    It is, therefore, naive to say that wars are won without firing a bullet.
    If non-violence could stop wars, India would not been colonized by the imperialists to begin with.

    Had Indians had gone up in united and organized arms revolt against the British, the British would not have lasted five years in India.




    Arjun
    07-14 08:35 PM
    I dont understand your argument, may be I misunderstood. Who will benefit from EB1 to EB3 spill over ROW or retrogressed countries. It likely EB3 ROW. So why EB3 Indian writing the letter? May be things should be more clear about what you want to achieve.

    The way it is working for EB2, it is going to work exactly for EB3.




    Macaca
    05-18 05:36 PM
    Moving back to America
    The dwindling allure of building factories offshore (http://www.economist.com/node/18682182)
    The Economist

    �WHEN clients are considering opening another manufacturing plant in China, I�ve started to urge them to consider alternative locations,� says Hal Sirkin of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). �Have they thought about Vietnam, say? Or maybe [they could] even try Made in USA?� When clients are American firms looking to build factories to serve American customers, Mr Sirkin is increasingly likely to suggest they stay at home, not for patriotic reasons but because the economics of globalisation are changing fast.

    Labour arbitrage�taking advantage of lower wages abroad, especially in poor countries�has never been the only force pushing multinationals to locate offshore, but it has certainly played a big part. Now, however, as emerging economies boom, wages there are rising. Pay for factory workers in China, for example, soared by 69% between 2005 and 2010. So the gains from labour arbitrage are starting to shrink, in some cases to the point of irrelevance, according to a new study by BCG.

    �Sometime around 2015, manufacturers will be indifferent between locating in America or China for production for consumption in America,� says Mr Sirkin. That calculation assumes that wage growth will continue at around 17% a year in China but remain relatively slow in America, and that productivity growth will continue on current trends in both countries. It also assumes a modest appreciation of the yuan against the dollar.

    The year 2015 is not far off. Factories take time to build, and can carry on cranking out widgets for years. So firms planning today for production tomorrow are increasingly looking close to home. BCG lists several examples of companies that have already brought plants and jobs back to America. Caterpillar, a maker of vehicles that dig, pull or plough, is shifting some of its excavator production from abroad to Texas. Sauder, an American furniture-maker, is moving production back home from low-wage countries. NCR has returned production of cash machines to Georgia (the American state, not the country that is occasionally invaded by Russia). Wham-O last year restored half of its Frisbee and Hula Hoop production to America from China and Mexico.

    BCG predicts a �manufacturing renaissance� in America. There are reasons to be sceptical. The surge of manufacturing output in the past year or so has largely been about recovering ground lost during the downturn. Moreover, some of the new factories in America have been wooed by subsidies that may soon dry up. But still, the new economics of labour arbitrage will make a difference.

    Rather than a stampede of plants coming home, �higher wages in China may cause some firms that were going to scale back in the US to keep their options open by continuing to operate a plant in America,� says Gary Pisano of Harvard Business School. The announcement on May 10th by General Motors (GM) that it will invest $2 billion to add up to 4,000 jobs at 17 American plants supports Mr Pisano�s point. GM is probably not creating many new jobs but keeping in America jobs that it might otherwise have exported.

    Even if wages in China explode, some multinationals will find it hard to bring many jobs back to America, argues Mr Pisano. In some areas, such as consumer electronics, America no longer has the necessary supplier base or infrastructure. Firms did not realise when they shifted operations to low-wage countries that some moves �would be almost irreversible�, says Mr Pisano.

    Many multinationals will continue to build most of their new factories in emerging markets, not to export stuff back home but because that is where demand is growing fastest. And companies from other rich countries will probably continue to enjoy the opportunity for labour arbitrage for longer than American ones, says Mr Sirkin. Their labour costs are higher than America�s and will remain so unless the euro falls sharply against the yuan.

    There�s no place like home

    The opportunity for labour arbitrage is disappearing fastest in basic manufacturing and in China. Other sectors and countries are less affected. As Pankaj Ghemawat, the author of �World 3.0�, points out, despite rapidly rising wages in India, its software and back-office offshoring industry is likely to retain its cost advantage for the foreseeable future, not least because of its rapid productivity growth.

    Nonetheless, a growing number of multinationals, especially from rich countries, are starting to see the benefits of keeping more of their operations close to home. For many products, labour is a small and diminishing fraction of total costs. And long, complex supply chains turn out to be riskier than many firms realised. When oil prices soar, transport grows dearer. When an epidemic such as SARS hits Asia or when an earthquake hits Japan, supply chains are disrupted. �There has been a definite shortening of supply chains, especially of those that had 30 or 40 processing steps,� says Mr Ghemawat.

    Firms are also trying to reduce their inventory costs. Importing from China to the United States may require a company to hold 100 days of inventory. That burden can be handily reduced if the goods are made nearer home (though that could be in Mexico rather than in America).

    Companies are thinking in more sophisticated ways about their supply chains. Bosses no longer assume that they should always make things in the country with the lowest wages. Increasingly, it makes sense to make things in a variety of places, including America.


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