How Can the United States Grow Manufacturing?

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Jan 19 2022 |

We put forth some ideas in a new video.

Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, we’ve spent the past decade and a half arguing that the United States needs to get serious about strengthening its manufacturing sector and reshoring much of the production we’ve lost, especially in critical areas.

People usually were fairly responsive to the message, and politicians certainly loved donning a hard hat and touring a factory during campaign season. On paper, people love Made in America! The struggle has been turning that interest into action, especially when there wasn’t a crisis to drive home the consequences of factory closures to folks who weren’t directly connected to manufacturing in some way.

But then a crisis happened.

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the United States to reckon with the real-life impacts of deindustrialization. At the start of the pandemic, China’s government slammed the door on exports of PPE, leaving the United States without supplies like N95 masks. In recent months, a breakdown in the global supply chain has led to factory closures and supply chain shortages worldwide.

As American Giant CEO Bayard Winthrop recently wrote: “This highly complex, multinational supply chain is vulnerable to fundamental disruption. And when something breaks, the entire thing collapses. Maybe it was meant to be broken.”

The good news is that there’s growing bipartisan recognition that the United States must bring back much of its manufacturing base, at least when it comes to critical industries and emerging technologies (think: electric vehicles). But what will it take to get the job done?

We’ve got a few ideas. Watch the 3:20 minute piece above to learn more about the current state of manufacturing — and the policies that will be needed to reshore critical industries, creating millions of good jobs and creating a better future for the United States. Be sure to share it online and give it a thumbs-up on YouTube if you like it, too.