Offshoring ... to the U.S.

Labor costs may be higher, but Brazil's Tramontina is outsourcing to the U.S.

Lake County Museum / CORBIS

A postcard from Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Brazil's Tramontina has joined the global trend of outsourcing, with a curious twist: the cookwaremaker is moving manufacturing jobs to the U.S. Tramontina last month reopened a shuttered plant in Manitowoc, Wis., and plans to move both line production and raw-material processing there from China. "Once we started looking, we figured out it would be very economical to make our products domestically," says Antonio Galafassi, president of Tramontina USA. Although labor costs are higher, the plant's efficiency and its proximity to big customers offset that disadvantage. The company opened a distribution center in Houston in 1986, when it entered the U.S....

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