President Obama today announced a new Advanced Manufacturing Partnership that will bring together industry, universities and the federal government to invest in emerging technologies. This is nuts-and-bolts government work, to help American manufacturing and American workers — precisely the kind of thing that Republicans and Wall Street oppose. It is hoped this will help create manufacturing jobs here, instead of places like China.
… a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance our global competitiveness. Investing in technologies, such as information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, will support the creation of good jobs by helping U.S. manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development.
From The Detroit News: Dow exec to lead Obama’s manufacturing initiative,
President Barack Obama has tapped Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Midland-based Dow Chemical Co., to chair his $500 million Advanced Manufacturing Partnership aimed at spurring technology gains and job creation.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield will join Liveris in leading the partnership.
The White House called the initiative a national effort bringing together industry, universities and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance the nation’s competitiveness.
. . . The program will focus on five key areas: building domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries; reducing the time needed to make advanced materials used in manufacturing products; establishing U.S. leadership in next-generation robotics; increasing the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes; and developing new technologies that will dramatically reduce the time required to design, build, and test manufactured goods.
This is a component of a national industrial policy. In yesterday’s post on the Joint Economic Committee hearing on manufacturing policy I wrote about Scott Paul’s testimony,
Robust strategy has been at the core of American policy from the country’s beginnings. Today’s dearth of policy is the exception, not the rule. Hamilton’s manufacturing policy was in place until WWII.
Having a manufacturing strategy is not partisan, Reagan had one, the Plaza Accord. His administration made key investments, including semiconductors, and had “Buy America” requirements.
We saved the auto industry, which stabilized part of the support structure for domestic manufacturing.
There are many problems that can’t be solved on their own by companies, like R&D investment.
No single firm can coordinate national projects. We need a robust manufacturing strategy because fate of this sector is too important. The decline of manufacturing is not inevitable or desirable.
This initiative will work along these lines. Let’s hope it succeeds.
Speaking of Scott Paul, here is the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Statement on President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Speech,
Linking manufacturers with the latest cutting-edge research at universities and federal agencies is one step in brightening the prospects for American manufacturing. But we can’t stop there.
We welcome President Obama’s support for public-private partnerships to develop new products, innovations, and processes for American manufacturing. Pittsburgh is the right place to make this announcement: home of a modern steel industry, great academic institutions, sophisticated research, a skilled workforce, and a strong industrial union.
America has been falling behind in manufacturing while the rest of the world aggressively supports its industry. We are playing catch-up following decades of neglect. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership shows a lot of promise, but the effort will be futile unless our manufacturers also have a solid foundation of support for challenges like unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, developing a skilled workforce, and a more efficient infrastructure.
As always, Frank Sobotka explains what’s wrong: