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Foxconn plans U.S. manufacturing expansion

Posting in Technology

Foxconn Technology Group, a major supplier to Apple and Hewlett-Packard Co., said Friday it wants to expand operations in North America largely due to increased demand for products bearing the "Made in U.S.A." label, Bloomberg reported.

The news comes one day after Bloomberg published a wide-ranging interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, in which he revealed plans to spend more than $100 million next year to make Mac computers in the U.S.

Cook's announcement prompted lots of speculation over whether other tech giants will follow the company's lead. And while this surely isn't a hasty decision on Foxconn's part, the announcement does give credence to the "return of U.S. manufacturing" theory.

Foxconn already operates factories in California and Texas. Company spokesman Louis Woo told Bloomberg any manufacturing brought back to the U.S. will have to" leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China."

While Apple is hugely influential, it's not the only company blazing a trail back to U.S. factories. Chinese computer-maker Lenovo Group announced this fall it will begin manufacturing PCs in North Carolina next year.

The initial effort, which will involve a few million dollars in investment and about 100 workers, will be relatively small for a company with nearly $30 billion in annual revenues, WSJ reported at the time. However, Lenovo said it will be the beginning of something bigger.

As labor costs continue to rise in China along with environmental and security concerns, other businesses have turned elsewhere, including the U.S. MFG.com, an online directory used by businesses to find domestic manufacturers, saw a 15 percent increase in inquiries for American factories to replace their Chinese suppliers, reported CNN.

— By on December 7, 2012, 12:44 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure