Manufacturing in the U.S., Plug in Mark Twain Quote Here

By February 19, 2009Economy, Trade

News outlets occasionally feel the need add context to the coverage of manufacturing in the United States, balancing the negative (and mostly legitimate) stories and politicians’ doomsaying to point out the productivity, innovation and growth still seen in the manufacturing sector.

Which is to say, this piece by The Associated Press seems familiar, but which is also to say, thanks! It’s a good, informative article.

Reports of U.S. manufacturing’s death are greatly exaggerated, workers say“:

[Manufacturing] in the United States isn’t dead or even dying. It’s moving upscale, following the biggest profits, and becoming more efficient, just like Henry Ford did when he created the assembly line to make the Model T.

The United States by far remains the world’s leading manufacturer by value of goods produced. It hit a record $1.6 trillion in 2007 — nearly double the $811 billion in 1987. For every $1 of value produced in China’s factories, America generates $2.50.

So what’s made in the USA these days?

The U.S. sold more than $200 billion worth of aircraft, missiles and space-related equipment in 2007. And $80 billion worth of autos and auto parts. Deere & Co., best known for its bright green and yellow tractors, sold $16.5 billion worth of farming equipment last year, much of it to the rest of the world. Then there’s energy products like gas turbines for power plants made by General Electric, computer chips from Intel and fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. Household names like GE, General Motors, IBM, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard are among the largest manufacturers by revenue.

The article also appropriately features smaller manufacturing companies, including the Pittsburgh-area Berner International Corp., which makes the air curtains — the blowers that are installed above automatic sliding glass doors.

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