The Trials of Competing with China

Top execs at Bartlett Manufacturing in Illinois talk about the disadvantages they face -- and how Washington isn't doing anything to help

Why can't small U.S. companies compete with their Chinese rivals (see BW, 11/6/04, "The China Price")? A good case study from the domestic printed-circuit-board industry is Bartlett Manufacturing, a Cary (Ill.) privately owned company. Its revenues, estimated at $9 million this year, are down 58% since 1999, when the 52-year-old company employed 230 workers. Today 85 work at the cavernous, 78,000-sq.-ft. plant.

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