Four long-term issues that could sink U.S. manufacturing


U.S. manufacturing is growing stronger but that expansion is in spite of four direct challenges to continued relevance in the global market: growing inadequacy of its infrastructure; a lack of qualified factory workers; a tax and regulatory regime that generally does not provide incentives for expansion projects; and the lack of a long-term national industrial policy.

Those key findings from a gathering of industry, labor, government, and academia at the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative: Dialogue on Next Generation Supply Networks and Logistics, held in February at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Atlanta.

The conference flagged a Booz & Co. analysis of data from the U.N. and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Contrary to dispel the rumors that manufacturing is now an insignificant portion of the U.S. economy. Manufacturing currently accounts for 12% percent of U.S. GDP, down from previous decades, but in dollar terms, still representing a sector that is larger than the entire GDP of Canada or Russia.
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