New Report: The Challenges to Manufacturing

The National Association of Manufacturers and the Council of Manufacturing Associations — industry-specific trade groups — released a new report today that reaffirms the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy but points out the mounting challenges.

The report, “Manufacturing Resurgence – A Must for U.S. Prosperity,” is the third in a series of economic reports by Joel Popkin and Company featuring data and analysis about the importance of U.S. manufacturing to the nation’s economy.

The report recommends numerous strategies to create manufacturing jobs and stimulate manufacturing innovation and productivity, including:

  • Reduce  the corporate income tax rate
  • A permanant R&D tax credit 
  • Make policy decisions now to  guide private-sector R&D  investments in clean energy technologies
  • Improve the U.S. education system, especially in the science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM);
  • Support small business viability by widening the lowest corporate income tax bracket
  • Invest in all levels of infrastructure.

Americans’ standard of living is at stake. The report builds on previous work done in 2003 and 2006 and notes:

[The] basic conclusion of this report is the same as its predecessors: America’s manufacturing innovation process is vital to promoting economic growth, productivity gains and increases in our standard of living. At the end of the 2006 report, a potential scenario was described whereby innovation declined, manufacturing contracted and the U.S. economy suffered losses of good jobs and found further improvements in its standard of living endangered. That scenario may well be playing out now, triggered by circumstances that were not foreseen at that time.


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