There is one reason for outsourcing abroad that is not based on cost and is closer to lead-time and planning reasons. When it comes to outsourcing laborious tasks there's hardly a place on earth that is as cheap and reliable as Asia. But many manufacturers, whether in Europe or North America turn to closer, but much pricier and less reliable destinations that are geographically closer (Mexico, Eastern Europe, North Africa etc). The prime reason for this is the delivery time from these places to the final assembly plant. Typically it is a 2-3 days period for these so called near-shores compared to the typical 40 days sea-journey from China. This gives a lot leverage for just-in-time, lowering work-in-process stock, Kanban, and overall improved lead time.