— Council on Competitiveness

Council of Competitiveness


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An American Manufacturing Movement

Published December 2011

The image of manufacturing as “dumb, dirty, dangerous and disappearing,” is far from accurate. Today, manufacturing is smart, safe, sustainable and surging; involving a wide range of digital, mechanical and chemical technologies that infuse every step of designing, developing, fabricating, servicing and delivering manufactured goods. This includes high-tech modeling and simulation. It includes robotics, artificial intelligence and sensors for process control and measurement. Manufacturing is about managing global supply and digital networks. More than ever, manufacturing is about engaging with customers and creating new products and experiences tailored to their needs and wants.

In this global, consumer-oriented and knowledge-intensive economy, the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing has never been more uncertain or important – nor have policy prescriptions been more contentious. All Americans would benefit from getting this right. A new era of manufacturing excellence offers hope for good jobs, new innovations and a higher standard of living. America would benefit from faster economic growth, a more secure industrial and defense base, and an ability to produce solutions to national challenges in energy, health and environment.  

The key challenges and solutions outlined in Make: An American Manufacturing Movement appear below:

1.    Challenge: Fueling Investments in the Innovation and Production Economy from Start-up to Scale-up
Solution: Enact fiscal reform, transform tax laws, regulations and other structural costs to spur investment, ramp up production, capitalize growth companies, and create skilled jobs

2.    Challenge: Expanding U.S. Exports, Reducing the Trade Deficit, Increasing Market Access and Responding to Foreign Governments Protecting Domestic Producers
Solution: Create fair and open global markets for U.S. goods and services to reduce the trade deficit and increase exports as a percentage of GDP

3.    Challenge: Harnessing the Power and Potential of American Talent to Win the Future Skills Race
Solution: Prepare the Next Generation of Innovators, Researchers and Highly-Skilled Workers

4.    Challenge: Transforming the Industrial Base to Smart Manufacturing and Innovation Networks to Spur Next-Generation Productivity
Solution: Create national advanced manufacturing networks and partnerships, prioritize R&D investments and deploy new tools, technologies and facilities

5.    Challenge: Optimizing and Integrating Next Generation Supply Networks with Advanced Logistics
Solution: Develop and Deploy Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Energy, Transportation, Production and Cyber Infrastructures