U.S. Manufacturing, We’re ‘Playing Catch-Up’

Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), applauded the direction that the United States is taking with the newly created Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. The group will be led by top engineering universities and several major U.S. manufacturers.

Last week, President Obama also directed the National Economic Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to work with the new partnership to implement a number of the recommendations of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

“We are playing catch-up on initiatives where we have public-private partnerships to try and spur manufacturing,” Scott said during an interview on C-SPAN. One particular area that is well-suited to joint efforts is in bringing new technology to the factory floor, Scott asserted. “That is a perfectly appropriate role for the government,” Scott said. Other countries are currently involved in these efforts and the U.S. was as well during the 80s. “This will help keep good-paying advanced-manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”

The group supports a national manufacturing strategy.

“The idea of a manufacturing strategy or industrial policy is hardly a radical concept,” the group says. “Alexander Hamilton constructed America‚Äôs first industrial policy in 1791. Setbacks during the War of 1812 due to a lack of domestic capacity to build naval vessels and military equipment cemented the determination of the federal government to grow manufacturing, a policy that continued until the end of World War II. Today, globalization and such economic approaches as a strong dollar policy favoring domestic consumption have helped to steadily erode manufacturing as a percentage of gross domestic product, as well as private-sector employment and other key measures.”

During the interview, he discussed the “Made in America” movement and other topics including the currency issue with China.


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