Re: Chinese rail car production effects on US jobs
Date: 05-18-2017 - 08:08
The passenger railcar (including rail transit vehicles) market in the US collapsed for reasons that have little to do with foreign competition. It collapsed because passenger rail in general collapsed, replaced by highway-based modes, in the 1950s-70s. When new or surviving systems needed equipment in the 1980s/90s and later, there were no major US companies left that could fill the orders, and starting one up made no sense because there was little prospect of enough ongoing business to keep order books full. So foreign companies - with enough worldwide business to keep the order books full - set up US assembly plants to fill the orders.
The report focuses mainly on the freight car business, in which US companies are still the major participants. Likewise for locomotives. Yes, moving that market to Chinese state-supported enterprises would be a significant economic loss. There's little government subsidy for that kind of stuff, and the private businesses (railroads) doing the purchasing of course are always looking at how to improve the bottom line (and the executives' salaries, which is much the same thing) so if offshoring freight car production can lower cost they will certainly consider it. We'll see.
Didn't LA just choose a Chinese company for some new light rail cars?