Companies need to keep on their toes to avoid getting caught in the crossfire in the growing friction between China and, principally, the United States and the European Union. The current wave of protectionism, whether in the form of special tariffs or unfairly imposed safeguard measures, is a fallout from the global economic downturn over the past year.
The trend poses some big questions for many manufacturers: should they be diversifying away from China sourcing? Should they be moving up the value chain by branding? And if so, how should they be repositioning themselves in a world where workers in developed economies are struggling to find jobs despite a gradual recovery in their domestic economies.