Mini motorcycle and go-kart maker Monster Moto made a big bet on U.S. manufacturing by moving assembly to this Louisiana town in 2016 from China.
But it will be a long ride before it can stamp its products “Made in USA.”
This story by Nick Carey originally appeared on Yahoo! Finance.
The loss of nearly one out four U.S. factories in the past two decades means parts for its bike frames and engines must be purchased in China, where the manufacturing supply chain moved years ago.
Monster Moto’s experience is an example of the obstacles American companies face as they, along with President Donald Trump, try to rebuild American manufacturing. U.S. automakers and their suppliers, for example, have already invested billions in plants abroad and would face an expensive and time-consuming transition to buy thousands of American-made parts if President Trump’s proposed “border tax” on imported goods were to become law.
When companies re-shore assembly to U.S. soil – in Monster Moto’s case that took two years to find a location and negotiate support from local and state officials – they are betting their demand will create a local supply chain that currently does not exist.
For now, finding U.S.-based suppliers “remains one of the top challenges across our supplier base,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s VP for U.S. manufacturing and sourcing. Wal-Mart partnered with Monster Moto and several other U.S. companies in a drive to increase spending on American-made goods by $250 billion by 2023 in response to consumer demand for American-made goods.