In a reversal of roles, could China shoemakers be bringing its production to the U.S.? Glen Lin, the vice general manager of Dongguan Winwin Industrial, a Taiwan-owned company, said its up for consideration.
Lin told The Wall Street Journal he is scouting for a location in the U.S. to bring new machinery for sneaker and casual shoe production. The business would likely be set up in an area near one his clients, either California for Skechers, Colorado for Crocs or Portland, Ore. for Nike.
The move would combat the effects of China’s rising wages and taxes on the footwear business, and would dodge the Trump administration’s plan to implement across-the-board tariffs on Chinese imports, WSJ reported.
The technology Lin wants to bring is a machine that injects plastic onto a mesh sock to form rubber-like soles and uppers. The machine would reduce the shoemaking process—from conceptualization to stores—to just three months.
The machine currently requires just two operators, which Lin aims to eliminate. With a lack of skilled technicians in the U.S., Lin told WSJ he wants to replace the workers with robotic arms.
Lin told WSJ if he can’t find the talent he needs in America, he’ll recruit talent from Dongguan.