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Is US Manufacturing Competitive with the Rest of the World?

Other countries have long-standing, strategic, and well-funded advanced manufacturing support systems that have proven central to expanding technology creation, improving productivity, and bettering trade performance. The US needs one.

A host of pundits, and even some policymakers, have argued that American manufacturing is rebounding and therefore new policies are not necessary, while others have contended that manufacturing doesn’t matter anymore so we needn’t focus on it at all.

This is despite the fact that the United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs during the 2000s, has accumulated a $360 billion trade deficit in advanced technology products since 2010, and now ranks forty-third out of forty-four nations in the rate of progress in improving its innovation-based competitiveness.

In contrast, numerous other countries have long-standing, strategic, and well-funded advanced manufacturing support systems that have proven central to expanding technology creation, improving productivity, and bettering trade performance.

These nations realized decades ago that they were competing in an increasingly high-tech and global manufacturing environment where businesses could choose to invest resources and build facilities in the most attractive locations regardless of geography.

In response they have created strategies and infrastructures specifically designed to attract and grow production and the jobs that come with it. These involve more friendly tax policies, better policies for training and infrastructure, and also technology support systems.

More on US competitiveness on IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.

 

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