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Another day, another big corporate announcement about job-creation in the United States in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president – this time from Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, which makes so many iPhones and other products in China.

All the usual skeptical responses have been marshaled – or will be. Some of these have already been made by Foxconn’s chairman, like “We were already thinking of this” and “Trump’s tariff threats had nothing to do with these plans.” (Those aren’t direct quotes – just paraphrases.) An unusual skeptical response is out there, too – that the very large (and growing) flat panel displays Foxconn is thinking of producing in America are inevitable candidates for relocation because they’re too fragile to keep shipping half way around the world to customers.

But here’s what’s especially fascinating about Foxconn even considering this move: It demolishes or at least severely undercuts many of the most powerful explanations for why huge chunks of manufacturing will never return to the United States.

First, although Foxconn chief Terry Gou brushed off Trump’s trade stance, he has also stated that because of surging populism in the United States and globally, the rise of protectionism is “inevitable.” In this way, he’s just acknowledged the same trends that recently prompted his General Electric counterpart Jeffrey Immelt to declare that his huge multinational manufacturer will start making more goods where those goods are sold. So there’s little doubt that, precise timing aside, Gou has had his finger up to the prevailing political winds – which got a lot stronger on November 8.

Second, it may be true that very large flat panels for the highest tech TVs etc aren’t suitable for ocean voyages. But the United States, you may remember, is an awfully big country. And at least some of its roads aren’t in such hot shape. So since these panels will still have to travel by truck thousands of miles inside America to get from factories to warehouses and then to retail outlets (or directly to customers), it’s hard to imagine that transportation technicalities have been the main drivers of Foxconn’s decision.

Third, the kinds of electronics products made en masse by Foxconn in China have long been seen as especially farfetched candidates for domestic American production because the PRC is thought to have created such utterly matchless competitive advantage in this field. As Apple executives apparently told the (credulous) Obama administration five years ago, China’s manufacturing edge goes way beyond labor costs.  The U.S. company, of course, is one of Foxconn’s leading customers.  

Instead, “the vast scale of overseas [especially Chinese] factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign [especially Chinese] workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.” In other words, the electronics sector’s main supply chains are now located in China, and changing this immense fait accompli is impossible.

Yet Foxconn’s Gou is talking about doing just that. For example, he’s talking about a 30,000-50,000 job gain from the investment. Moreover, he already employs 400 in Virginia in a packaging and engineering, and has announced his intention to build a Pennsylvania facility to “build precision tools and develop a robotics programme.” That sure sounds like supply chain stuff to me.

Ever since his first run for the White House, former President Obama has used the phrase “Yes, we can” to inspire his countrymen. His successor seems to recognize that the phrase applies to reviving American manufacturing, too.