Harry Moser: Taking the Reshoring Message and Strategies to the Hill

Recently appointed to serve on the U.S. Investment Advisory Council, Harry Moser shares his goals for bringing reshoring to the forefront of the Council’s agenda.
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When I received the announcement about the appointment of Harry Moser to the U.S. Investment Advisory Council (IAC), I immediately reached out to him to find out what the appointment entails and how he sees himself making a difference.

Moser, who is founder and president of The Reshoring Initiative, is one of 25 individuals who have been appointed to serve on the IAC. The organization was first chartered in 2016, and has made recommendations on issues including infrastructure investment priorities, improving U.S. workforce development initiatives, and creating/improving digital tools to support economic development. Many of these recommendations are being acted on by various arms of the Department of Commerce, which is currently being led by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

One of my goals is to get the Department of Commerce to be as effective in enabling reshoring as they are in enabling FDI.

According to a press release issued by SelectUSA, an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration which promotes and facilitates business investment in the United States, the United States is home to more foreign direct investment (FDI) than any other country in the world, with a total stock of FDI valued at more than $4 trillion, according to the latest data. FDI supports nearly 14 million American jobs, and was responsible for $370 billion in U.S. goods exports in 2016. Harry Moser wants to make reshoring manufacturing to the U.S. just as successful.

“One of my goals is to get the Department of Commerce to be as effective in enabling reshoring as they are in enabling FDI,”  he says. “To put it in perspective, last year about 145,000 jobs were announced as coming back as a combination of reshoring and FDI. That's the second highest number on record. But in that mix it's typically something like 55 percent FDI and 45 percent reshoring; and it seems like the foreign companies better appreciate the value of producing in the U.S. for the U.S. market than the American companies do.”

Moser says it is an ideal time to get those U.S. headquartered companies to understand what the foreign companies, especially the Japanese companies, do, and that is that there is a huge economic advantage to producing near the customer.

It is an example of companies understanding the value of U.S. manufacturing.

“If you consider all the cars sold in the U.S. and which ones have the highest U.S.-made content, it is typically Toyota,” he says. “This is because the Japanese, with their lean emphasis and the Toyota production system, understand all the waste associated with bringing components and other supplies in from all over the world versus making them at a manufacturing cost almost as low right next door. In addition they then have immediate delivery and easy communication and cooperation as well as less inventory. So my job as I see it is to help SelectUSA in the Commerce Department communicate that more effectively to the U.S. companies so that they can make better decisions.”

Moser refers to the success of the Sourcing Fair that was held at Amerimold this year, saying it is an example of companies understanding the value of U.S. manufacturing. “Three American companies were looking for moldmakers and molders in the U.S. instead of abroad, and so they were showing initiative in cooperation with Gardner to get that accomplished. Gardner can take some credit for being an important player in this, but we can’t stop there. We have to keep working on pushing it forward, now.”


Next Steps

Moser says the Council is set to meet two times a year. Once will be on a somewhat random day while the other will most likely occur in conjunction with the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, which takes place in Washington DC during the second week in June.

In between meetings, Moser says members of the Council will be divided up to serve on various committees. “These committees will feed information into the group as a whole or into the Commerce Department as to how to make specific things happen better. I think to facilitate that all the members have been invited to send in topics for the whole council to work on and these topics might tell them what the committees will be.”

I think it's a question of training and education.

The new Council members were told they should only send in topics that the Commerce Department can implement, Moser says. “So it doesn't do any good to say cut the corporate tax rate to 10 percent because congress has to do that and the Commerce Department can't do it,” he explains. It stands to reason that Moser will propose figuring out how to get the USA accelerated on reshoring and how to get companies trained on the use of total cost so they can make better decisions.

“I think it's a question of training and education,” he concludes, adding that he knows just how to go about it. MMT will be checking back with Harry Moser to find out if how his plan is working out, so stay tuned.