Even though many manufacturing jobs have been shifted overseas this is likely only a temporary condition of our economic history. In fact, many forms of manufacturing are still done in the developed Western countries such as chemical processing and materials manufacture. Only high labor manufacturing, such as intricate part assembly or textile manufacturing is shipped overseas. In the future, even this work will likely be further automated and these manufacturing positions should return to the West.
Yes, I do believe that manufacturing will eventually return to the West. Manufacturing in foreign countries eventually brings up their standard of living and in turn forces prices for manufacturing higher. When the cost of doing business in foreign countries increases, it will make the West more competitive by comparison. We're already seeing the effects of this: more steel is being produced in this country and companies like Apple are beginning to manufacture higher end products here.
I think for the near future, manufacturing like we have been used to in the past is lost. I know high tech manufacturing are doing pretty well, but manufacturing that does not require a lot of technical skills, are lost. Which is kind of a shame because these type of manufacturing jobs create so many jobs. The problem is right now companies overseas can do these jobs a lot cheaper, due to the cost of living being so low in many of these countries. Where as in the west people are used to a much higher standard of living. That's not to say things can't change though. China is said, to be trying to find ways to raise its peoples standard of living. So maybe Corporations won't be able to ship our jobs overseas for so cheap. Hopefully it will be cheaper just to keep these jobs in the west. With the way things are right now, the west will never be able to compete with this cheap labor. Hopefully it will balance out soon.
I think that one of the great things about the worldwide economy is that nations will evolve and everyone will find a different role in a number of things. Manufacturing in the west no longer makes much sense. We are much better at doing a number of other things I say.
The current attitude of the United States is not conducive to any industry returning. With many restrictions, high taxes and unions that drive up wages, companies cannot compete in the US or other countries in the West. If the United States wants to have a chance at competing in the global manufacturing market, massive shifts in thought and policy must occur.