I think that a real key to competing with Chinese manufacturers is to take a look at what they can't easily do that customers still need.
The logistics of over seas shipping can be mostly overcome with money, but not always. When an engineer is on such a tight schedule that they want to drop a kit off one morning and pick up a finished prototype the next morning, expensive air shipping isn't going to cut it. Some government contracts fall under ITAR (International Trafficking in Arms Regulations) and more or less has to be built in the U.S.
I doubt that we'll ever see high volume consumer manufacturing back in this country, but there are still growth areas for American manufacturing.
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 23 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...