“What country now has our factories?”
That’s right; the economies of Asia have been developing for decades at a cost to us, and they’re still doing well.
Which countries are the still viable markets for those products from Asia?
Lately, I have been involved w/a project to buy and resell excess inventory. The world is awash in everything manufactured. The quantities are numbing and this inventory is clean shelf pulls and liquidations from some of the largest high end, mid price point and low end retailers. The liquidators have huge warehouses full of pallets and the prices keep dropping, just over the few months I have been researching this.
There are numerous businesses trying to sell this excess forward. Many are international. The liquidators themselves export cheerfully. But, where are the customers? In my area, the high end stores are empty, except when they run massive sales (before selling to the liquidators). The mid-price point operations are like graveyards on a day without a funeral. There are customers in the discount retailers, but often, only one out of 6-8 check out lines are open and they are not busy. Most of these retailers have online discount sales sites. The prices there also keep dropping.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this inventory except the lack of people who are willing to buy it, even at 25% of the original price. So, Asia can produce it for American, British and EU manufacturers and can do so cheaply and all that is visible are mountains of all sorts of stuff. Asia profited because they were starting from a very low point. Without customers, at what point do they have to cease manufacturing? And what happens to the cheapest labor on the planet when the wealthy West stops consuming?
About all I can advise my associates in this project is to wait for the absolutely rock bottom price for the smallest amount offered for sale (time the surplus market), store the inventory safely and cheaply while building their marketing operation and then pray for a Western recovery and the hoped-for pent-up demand to manifest.
For those expecting a doomsday economic event, I would advise identifying the surplus inventory warehouses and, if they ever open up to sell by the piece to the final end user, that is a definite sign the collapse is at maximum. I suppose if one were to wait a bit beyond that point, they will just be available for the looting.