① Netflix’s new documentary “American Factory”, the maiden project of Barack and Michelle Obamas’ production company Higher Ground, has opened to rave reviews in Sundance festival and has a shot at the Oscars.
② “American Factory” is set in the industrial heartland of the US. Hard done by The Great Recession in 2008, General Motors shut down their truck plant in Ohio, putting around 2,000 employees out of work. Cut to 2015, the founder of Fuyao Glass, Cao Dewang, took over the plant and employed for his first operations in the US around 1,000 locals, who worked alongside the imported Chinese “trainers”.
③ Cao’s attempt to replicate the labor-intensive China model at the factory was met with shock and surprise from the American workers, who were frequently described as inefficient. The Chinese, on the other hand, were scolded for their lax attitudes towards worker welfare.
④ Released into Trump’s America, it takes aim at the growth story peddled by the President, showing how America is not well-equipped to deal with the realities of the new global marketplace. Trump administration’s all show and no go policies and the US-China trade war are not helping matters either.