Thanks for this report, Rob. It sure makes sense that neither one of these industries wanted to outsource manufacturing, especially not to offshore it. I'd be very surprised if the defense industry ever went for that. But I'm not totally surprised about medical devices, given their growing electronics content: that makes a lot of sense.
It's intersting to note that the majority of the outsourcing goes to North America and Europe. My immediate reaction when I hear the word "oursourcing" is Asia, because so much of the PC industry's work is done in Asia.
COTS is definitely a two-edged sword. You're right about the cost savings. But it's also true that the idea of using Microsoft Windows for critical DoD platforms, let alone the Global Information Grid, left a lot of people scratching their heads. Some things should NOT be open platform.
The US State Department, cooperating with the US Commerce Department regulates all Military classified projects as 'ITAR' – International Traffic in Arms Regulations. If a company is developing a product internally (long before its commercial launch), their product is pre-classified either as ITAR or non ITAR, based on voluntary internal auditing and compliance.
If a program is deemed to be ITAR, the State Department strictly requires that all design, manufacturing, and any involvement on any component whatsoever, be completed by a US Citizen in a US facility on US soil. Not even a Canadian in Iowa (for example), is allowable to work in any capacity under ITAR regulations. Nor could any American design so much as a custom switch-cover in Hong-Kong.
Absolutely zero tolerance for any non-US-citizen to even see so much as a marketing brochure.
After the outsourcing explosion that detonated in 2000, and after living thru the deteriorating US manufactures' gloomy dilemma's, I didn't realize that pendulum had swung back all the way, as of this year. – It's very good news for American Jobs. Outsourcing does not have to mean "Off-Shore".
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