The Obama Administration should transform Fannie Mae into an industrial bank.

Former Intel CEO Andy Grove notably has called for a “scaling bank” to help scale innovations to production in the United States. To do this, the Obama administration should call for repurposing Fannie Mae into an industrial financing organization. The very existence of Fannie Mae reflects the fact that America has put more emphasis on consumption (housing) than on production (manufacturing). The new Fannie Mae (perhaps called the Federal National Industrial Mortgage Association) would buy and resell loans made to traded sector firms from banks and other lenders.

Why the 2000s Were a Lost Decade for American Manufacturing

March 14, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

ITIF estimates that over 60% of U.S. manufacturing job losses in the 2000s were due to competitiveness challenges, rather than productivity gains. While this was occurring, and while our leaders could not agree on whether it was a problem, other nations such as China and India were greatly increasing market share in the same industrial sectors, through coordinated national efforts to expand innovation, productivity and exports. We can expect overall manufacturing output, and the jobs that are based on it, to continue to recede unless we address the real problems we face. Namely, how do we make American firms more globally competitive to increase output, production and real growth? But that will be the topic for another day.

Solutions to Our Manufacturing Problems

March 11, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

ITIF board chairs Vic Fazio and Nancy Johnson argue for bipartisan solutions to manufacturing renewal.

Manufacturing Revival Radio: Rob Atkinson

February 21, 2013
Rob Atkinson was interviewed by Manufacturing Revival Radio on U.S. manufacturing and competitiveness.

Rob Atkinson was interviewed by Manufacturing Revival Radio on a variety of topics related to competitiveness and American manufacturing. He touched on the National Network of Manufacturing Institutes, strengthening our traded sector, and the importance of proper government investment in research and development.

The Real Reason Why Washington Should Care About Manufacturing

February 20, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Manufacturing matters because it’s simply impossible to have a vibrant national economy without a healthy globally traded sector, and manufacturing is America’s most important traded sector.

Advanced Manufacturing: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond

February 17, 2013
| Presentations

ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell presented on the future of advanced manufacturing at the AAAS annual conference. His presentation argued for the correct policies to support a robust advanced manufacturing climate in the United States. 

Breaking Down the Federal Clean Energy Innovation Budget: Manufacturing Investments

February 13, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

This is the 5th and final post in a series analyzing and detailing federal investments in clean energy innovation. Part 1 defined “clean energy innovation.” Part 2 broke down the federal clean energy innovation budget. Part 3 took a look at federal investments in clean energy demonstration projects.  Part 4 took a deeper dive into clean energy deployment policies.

The first post of this series called attention to the eminent need for supporting a well-developed and funded clean energy manufacturing sector as part of a robust innovation ecosystem. The feedback loops between manufacturing and research is explicitly linked. Even with all the R&D, demonstration, and deployment of clean energy, the United States could lose its competitive advantage over production resulting in the industry (and future innovation) to move overseas without strong policy support for advanced manufacturing. But like many other parts of America’s energy innovation budget, support for advanced manufacturing is rapidly declining.

The Future of American Manufacturing

February 15, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

In MIT's Technology Review, Rob Atkinson reflected on President Obama's SOTU proposals for revitalizing manufacturing, including funding for a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The President's proposed initiatives are a good start, but they could go further.