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The article alludes to, but doesn't expand on, the US's lost lead in furniture manufacturing. For more on this fascinating story, I recommend Beth Macy's "Factory Man" [0], the story of the systematic destruction of the North Carolina and Virginia-based wooden furniture industry by Chinese imports.

It's the exact same playbook as Huawei -- govt-backed "dumping" of loss-priced goods in an attempt for total market dominance. And US companies have historically been way too willing to expose trade secrets to Chinese manufacturers in exchange for temporarily cheaper supplies -- a Faustian bargain.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Factory-Man-Furniture-Offshoring-Amer...

In the case of furniture and other lower tech industries (clothing & textiles too), when Chinese products got slapped with tariffs production shifted to a different off-shore countries (Vietnam, Bangladesh, etc). The structural disadvantages that American manufacturing has doesn't go away, and honestly how many trade secrets are there to producing furniture. It's not like they don't have furniture already in the rest of the world.

"Factory Man" actually addresses these questions in considerable detail. You might be surprised how difficult it is to produce good-looking finishes, veneers, etc -- especially at scale. There was a time when the American manufacturers thought their competition would never catch up (and then they explicitly trained their competition so they could outsource production, which backfired when retailers realized they could cut out the middleman and order directly from China/Vietnam/wherever the cheap labor currently is.)

American furniture manufacturing does have one significant advantage in the US compared to its offshore competitors: proximity. Furniture is bulky to store and time-consuming to ship. The one manufacturer who realized this, John Basset, is the titular "Factory Man" who has kept his factories running by doubling down on just-in-time delivery, etc.

Bassett Furniture is made in the US? I'm surprised the quality isn't better, the furniture I bought from them was (mostly) broken down & uncomfortable after a few months, and ultimately ended up being replaced within 3 years. What I replaced it with has lasted more than double the life of my former Basset furniture already.

Bassett Furniture was made in the US (some of it in the company town of Bassett, Virginia -- not far from where I live) for many years, but today my understanding is that much of it is manufactured offshore. John D. Bassett III comes from that family, and worked for Bassett Furniture for many years, but today he runs a separate company called Vaughan-Bassett that makes 100% of its furniture in the USA. [0]

The Bassett family history and corporate provenance is weird and a bit incestuous (both figuratively and literally; J.D. married a cousin), and I really do recommend reading Macy's book for the full scoop.

[0] http://www.vaughan-bassett.com/about-us/

But presumably they won't be sold at a loss in a bid for market dominance.

Funny, because that seems to be precisely what Uber is all about.

If the Chinese sold furniture at a loss for market dominance, after the said dominance is gained, did the price soar?

The Chinese made cheaper furniture due to a lot of reasons, cheap labor, cheap resources, and presumably lower quality may be some of them, but selling at a loss definitely is not.

So, like every VC-backup SV startup does for the web services they provide?

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