The Nytimes.com has a fascinating article: New York Manhole Covers, Forged Barefoot in India
Some sample quotes:
Manhole covers manufactured in India can be anywhere from 20 to 60 percent cheaper than those made in the United States
And why is that. Could it be due partially to this:
“We can’t maintain the luxury of Europe and the United States, with all the boots and all that,” said Sunil Modi, director of Shakti Industries.
It reminds me of photographs of Europe in the 19th century.