China – US-China trade war unlikely to shift manufacturing to US

If the tariffs actually make a country great again, it might be Malaysia, Vietnam or Costa Rica, global medical device industry suppliers say.

The U.S.-China trade war is certainly affecting where U.S. medical device companies decide to make their products. But don’t expect a bunch of manufacturing to come back to the United States.

“They are looking at what I would call ‘right-shoring,’” Freudenberg Medical CEO Max Kley said of his company’s medtech customers. For 12 years, Freudenberg (Carpinteria, Calif.) has had a plant in Shenzhen, China, just outside Hong Kong, where about 150 workers are engaged in thermoplastic and silicone injection molding and assembly of finished devices.

With tariffs on both sides apparently here to stay, medical device customers are adjusting their supply chains, but it’s more about shifting manufacturing to other low-labor-cost locations such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Costa Rica or Mexico, Kley told Medical Design & Outsourcing.

“It’s not necessarily moving them back to the United States,” Kley told us…