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New manufacturing initiative needed to reclaim American leadership

July 11, 2019

Sending a cautionary note and calling for a new initiative, a new report from MForesight takes a look at the challenges facing America’s leadership in advanced manufacturing. The short-term strategy of “invent here, make there,” has led to the erosion of domestic capabilities and has now become “invent there, manufacture there,” say the authors. They believe that reclaiming the country’s leadership in advanced manufacturing will be a complex and long-term undertaking — one that calls for a long-term government National Manufacturing Initiative.

In MForesight’s Reclaiming America’s Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing, Sridhar Kota and Thomas C. Mahoney build on last year’s study of manufacturing prosperity, incorporating new findings and identifying fundamental weaknesses in U.S. manufacturing. They highlight the risks those weaknesses could have on long-term wealth and security for the nation. The authors advocate for a National Manufacturing Initiative (NMI) that would support the private sector to restore high-value manufacturing in the U.S. Specifically, they say this NMI would:

  1. Invest in translational research and manufacturing innovation;
  2. Encourage domestic pilot production and scale-up;
  3. Empower small and medium-sized manufacturers to deploy advanced technologies; and,
  4. Grow domestic engineering and technical talent.

If such an effort got the financial support required and was managed effectively, the authors say the result would be “a manufacturing sector that produces high-value defense, industrial, and consumer products with broad-based supply chains, diverse industrial clusters, and the foundational support for high-paying services that depend on strong manufacturing.”

The full report can be found here.