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U.S. National Manufacturing Strategy Act Proposed
Apr 7, 2011
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U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced a bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011, intended to boost the competitiveness of American manufacturing. The U.S. House introduced similar legislation.

The National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011 would require the Commerce Secretary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector and submit to Congress a National Manufacturing Strategy. The goals of the Strategy are to increase manufacturing jobs, identify emerging technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and strengthen the manufacturing sectors in which the U.S. is most competitive.

To ensure widespread support from both business and government, this bill would require the president to establish a Manufacturing Strategy Board of federal officials, two state governors from different parties, and private-sector manufacturing leaders. Every four years, the board would conduct a comprehensive analysis of the manufacturing sector – covering matters ranging from financing to trade to the defense industrial base. Based on this analysis and ample public input, the board would develop a strategy that includes specific recommendations to the President, Congress, and industry for bolstering American manufacturing. The board will also assess the implementation of its recommendations annually, and the nonpartisan Government Accountability Organization will conduct a separate review.

The sponsors said that, by requiring the development of a national manufacturing strategy, the bill would boost traditional and high-tech manufacturing, spur American job growth, and strengthen the middle class.

“Manufacturing helped build our middle class and must lead our nation’s economic recovery,” Sen. Brown said. “If we’re going to out-compete and out-innovate other countries, it will require a national manufacturing strategy. The United States has been without one, and our economy has paid the price. We are seeing manufacturing help lead us out of the recession, but we need a sustained strategy to ensure long-term growth and job creation.”

“Manufacturing is the backbone of the U.S. economy,” Senator Kirk said. “Today, American manufacturing has fallen behind China as the world’s leading producer. This bill will establish a national roadmap to spur economic growth, create new jobs and keep us competitive in the global economy,” Senator Kirk said.

The bill sponsors pointed out that America lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs – a third of all manufacturing jobs - in the last decade. In 2010 the U.S. ranked 4th in exports with about $1.27 trillion in exports but ranked 1st in imports.

The senators also noted that the loss of manufacturing capacity harms national security by threatening America’s ability to independently equip its military.

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