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Where in the world is cheap labor? Diesel Jeans

 I put this question to a bunch of heavy industrial companies in China, and they said quite soon, actually. In ct, were reaching that point already. I noticed an article a couple of weeks ago about Master Lock, the iconic lock company, headquartered in Milwaukee. They re-ran the numbers, and theyve actually moved production back to the US from China. The CEO pointed out that fortunately theyve never forgotten how to make locks. Theyve always kept a small production footprint in the US. A lot of other companies, when they outsourced, they closed their last ctories and gave all the work to contract manucturers. Those guys may find themselves stuck now.

Its an incredibly st-moving situation. Labor markets which we previously thought were inexhaustible, like China and India, have actually tightened up quite dramatically. Employers cant get workers. Wages have gone up. Add to that the energy cost increases, and the ctories, the contract manucturers, are now suddenly squeezed. So theyre turning around to their buyers — to the retailers or the brands — and theyre saying, "Hey, my prices need to go up." And the brands are saying, "Whoa! We dont think we can pass those prices on to the consumer." Theres something of a train smash looming.

Yes. I think consumers will see across the board price increases for apparel. Probably for electronics and other popular consumer goods, as well, because their cost structures are shifting,Cheap Diesel Jeans sale too. The end of cheap labor is not the only ctor. Were also running out of cheap water and cheap land. China doesnt have enough water for domestic consumption. Yet silicon-chip ctories use billions of gallons. Chinese authorities have already told Beijing that the cost of water will increase fourfold next year. Industry will have to pay more for workers, more for raw materials, more for water, and more for energy. Theres just no running away from all of that.

Wont they just look for cheaper alternatives elsewhere?

At what point do these shifting trends begin to benefit workers in the United States and other developed countries?

The FLA brings together multinational companies like Nike (NKE, Fortune 500), Adidas and Hanes (NYSE:HBI); universities like Princeton and Notre Dame; and NGOs like the National Consumers League and Human Rights First to end sweat-shop working conditions in ctories around the world. I spoke to van Heerden last week, shortly after he returned from a trip to China, where the inflation rate has reached nearly 5%, food inflation is more than 10%, and double-digit increases in the minimum wage are suddenly the norm.

Will this be a disaster for developing countries that have come to rely on exports for jobs and economic growth?

FORTUNE — Auret van Heerden is a former anti-apartheid activist who wasWhere in the world is cheap labor?Diesel Jeans tortured, imprisoned and ultimately exiled by the South African government. Hes now CEO of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), with offices in Washington, Geneva and Shanghai.

Is China still an option for global manucturers seeking lower costs of production?

So will US consumers have to pay more for sweaters and jeans at the Gap (GPS, Fortune 500)?

Ive never thought that jobs were a zero-sum game. But a lot of the jobs are in places right now that are not really sustainable. It would be tragic if those jobs simply left again and went to the next cheapest place — and that cheapest place might be the US. I would rather see the compa

ThDiesel Jeanseyre wondering if they could push more stuff to Bangladesh or Vietnam or Indonesia and so on, but the options are limited. The last country added to the supply chain was Cambodia in 2000, and there are only one or two places left. People are looking at Africa again to see if there isnt something that theyve overlooked there. Finding another cheap platform, another cheap country, was the deult until now, but frankly thats no longer an option. Theres nowhere else to go.