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Business consultant John Mautner is right that China is at war with the United States and it will win if we continue to allow it to destroy our manufacturing base. But he is wrong when he says "lean manufacturing can beat Asians."

Lean manufacturing has been practiced by thousands of U.S. companies for decades, and many of these companies are gone. It was not enough to be lean.

The basis of Mautner's theory was the success of two small companies. One had sales of $12 million; no sales value dollar was provided for the other. They were both growing and practicing lean manufacturing.

There will be U.S. companies that will survive the Chinese attack. Companies that have the highest probability of success will be small ones that provide small quantities and fast deliveries, or have low volume proprietary products that require special skills or knowledge. But these companies are not completely safe because the skills can be learned and the knowledge stolen.

No U.S. manufacturer can compete with Chinese labor rates that are 5 percent or one-twentieth of U.S. labor rates. No matter how lean the manufacturing process, there is always labor involved. The only way to stop the continuing destruction of U.S. industries is for the government to charge trade balancing tariffs on countries that have predatory trade policies.

Jack Davis


Save American Jobs Association