Some pundits argue that American manufacturing is rebounding and returning to our shores. Others contend that manufacturing doesn’t matter anymore so we should not even focus on the sector. Neither of these views is accurate. America’s trade sector competitiveness depends on manufacturing and America’s economic vitality depends upon having a large number of enterprises that can hold their own in global competition. That’s why it’s no coincidence that the Great Recession came after the worst eight years for U.S. manufacturing since the Great Depression.

Addressing the challenges manufacturers in America face will require a multi-faceted approach, but a core component will be policies that increase the innovation and productivity necessary to enable American firms to compete against the nations that are innovative leaders at one end of the spectrum and those that are low-cost havens at the other.

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