Last time, we discussed the first camp of opinions toward manufacturing, which dismiss it as inconsequential to the modern day economy.
The second camp takes a more forward-facing view. In this group, people believe manufacturing does matter, and we must lower U.S. government cost burdens to level the global playing field.
This group recognizes that manufacturing is critical to our future, but believes government is the problem and that if we can just reduce taxes, regulations and other burdens on industry, then manufacturing will surge. Members of this camp point to one iconic fact to back up their claims: that the U.S. manufacturing environment is more expensive than the rest of the world.
As expressed by a MAPI and NAM Manufacturing Institute study, the 2012 Report on the Structural Cost of U.S. Manufacturing: “Because of our health care, tax, tort, energy and regulatory policies, it is 20% more expensive to do manufacturing in the U.S. than it is in the countries that are our nine largest trading partners—and that excludes the cost of labor.” NAM’s report A Growth Agenda: Four Goals for a Manufacturing Resurgence in America focuses on tax rates, regulation, health care, and legal reform.
While emphasizing that the current “business as usual” policies will prevent a resurgence, former MAPI leader Tom Duesterberg with University of Maryland experts project that pro-manufacturing policies would increase U.S. manufacturing share of GDP from about 11.6% today to 15.8% by 2025, create 3.7 million new jobs and reverse the U.S. trade deficit into positive exports in manufacturing. The Manufacturing Resurgence: What it could mean for the U.S. Economy – A Forecast for 2025
Most business groups and many Republicans are in this second camp. But due to the influence and size of the first group, the lobbying efforts of this camp are largely neutralized.
Next time, we will introduce you to the third and final camp of attitudes toward manufacturing — which seeks to make manufacturing an integral part of the future economy.
Photo credit: Maryland Government photos on Flickr. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley swears in members of Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness by Tom Nappi at Cockeysville, Maryland