John Engler: Manufacturing and the Second American Century

By May 29, 2009Economy, Innovation

At, a column by John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, “Forging A Second American Century“:

The 20th Century is often called the American Century, marking the U.S. rise to global pre-eminence. Manufacturing powered our ascendance, factories created our prosperity.

But the American Century is nearly a decade gone, manufacturing jobs are dwindling, and the future promises fierce competition from the new industrial giants of China and India (and the old giants of Europe). The recession drags painfully on, and dozens of other competitor countries target what they sense is a new U.S. vulnerability.

It is time to finally resign ourselves to becoming a second-rate manufacturing nation?

Not if manufacturers have anything to say about it. Manufacturers in the United States have adapted before to survive, and they will again.

The column cites some impressive examples of U.S.-based manufacturers reinventing themselves and prospering as a result.


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Please consider proposing replacing employer provided health care with National Health car funded by a business purchase National sales tax paid by all companies on all purchases including imports. This tax would be passes on to consumers of course but it would level the playing field for US manufacturers by applying equally to imports.
    A second proposal for you to consider: proposing replacing FICA and Medicare taxes with a National retail sales tax. Again, the justification for the change is to further level the playing field for US companies competing against non-US suppliers. Retail SAles tax exemptions would be required for packaged, canned, frozen and fresh foods and non-alcoholic beverages, primary residences, and medical equipment, supplies and medications.
    US manufacturers deserve a level field to compete upon.

  • […] Forbes column by NAM President John Engler excerpted below is part of a major special section developed by Forbes on manufacturing in the United States, […]

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