Wary of mounting tensions surrounding out-of-favor countries like China and Russia, multinational corporations are shifting operations to places that present less geopolitical risk.
The trend has been labelled “friendshoring.” While that’s a play on “offshoring,” this isn’t about companies moving operations back to the United States or Europe, but rather seeking foreign alternatives that retain the benefit of low labor costs but with less international controversy.
For now, the conversation is principally about China. “Every company that I speak to at the moment is engaged in rethinking their [China-focused] supply chains,” Tony Danker, head of the Confederation of British Industry, told the Financial Times, “because they anticipate that our politicians will inevitably accelerate towards a decoupled world from China.”
Congress is actively working to accelerate the friendshoring trend: The