Bipartisan Bill Aims To Foster U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Growth

By Cathalijne Adams
May 10 2019 |
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy

Investment in national program strengthens American leadership in manufacturing innovation.

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Thursday to facilitate the growth of Manufacturing USA, a national network of 14 public-private partnerships of 1,300 companies and institutions that collaboratively support advanced manufacturing innovation and the expansion of domestic production.   

Founded in 2014, Manufacturing USA unites industry, academic and federal partners to strengthen domestic manufacturing’s R&D infrastructure and workforce development with the aim of increasing American manufacturing’s global competitiveness.

The bill, the Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing Act, would ensure continued U.S. investment in Manufacturing USA’s programs by easing funding protocols and promoting the addition of new institutes.

“Manufacturing is a cornerstone of American economic security and investment in advanced manufacturing is critical to ensure the future of U.S. global competitiveness…” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who introduced the bull alongside Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “Support for manufacturing is bipartisan, and the Manufacturing USA program is where Congress and the Administration can find common ground.”

“The United States must remain a global leader in manufacturing, and we need to commit to investing in public-private partnerships to boost this critical sector,” said Gardner.

As countries like China continue to heavily invest in their own advanced manufacturing programs, U.S. investment in R&D is more important than ever, particularly as dependence on foreign supply chains increasingly becomes a national security vulnerability.

The bill would also embed Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) liaisons in each Manufacturing USA institute to support workforce development for small and medium-sized manufacturers, addressing a critical need as a 4.6 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will be created from 2018 until 2028, according to Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute skills research. This worker shortage could cost the U.S. economy $2.5 trillion.

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul commended the bill’s introduction, saying:

“American manufacturing competitiveness depends on the ability of manufacturers to innovate, adopt, and produce next-generation technologies and products. Investing not just in innovation, but in the transfer of new technologies and techniques to U.S. manufacturers and fabricators, is critical to our nation’s long-term economic success. Manufacturing USA’s network of manufacturing institutes is an integral part of this effort, bringing together government, industry and academia to cultivate innovation and R&D in emerging industries that can lead to good manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S. This bipartisan legislation will bolster our innovation ecosystem by extending our commitment to support Manufacturing USA, providing resources to foster greater interagency collaboration and encouraging the establishment of additional manufacturing institutes to ensure the U.S. remains on the cutting edge of manufacturing technology.”