In response to an initiative to promote innovation and competitiveness in manufacturing President Obama is announcing today, ITIF President Rob Atkinson made the following statement:
"Finally, at the very highest levels of government there is recognition that manufacturing matters and an acknowledgement that our public policies have been failing this critical sector. The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation is one of the most important steps this or any Administration has taken in recent years to revitalize American manufacturing and it is urgently needed.
The United States has endured unprecedented erosion in manufacturing. As a share of the economy, we've seen a 32% decline in manufacturing jobs. That is worse than what we experienced in the Great Depression. As ITIF finds in a report to be released on March 21, this employment decline is not, as so many presume, about superior productivity leading to fewer jobs. It is about the loss of U.S. international competitiveness leading to reduced output and fewer jobs. Such a decline was not inevitable and it is recoverable.
We hope the 15 Institutes for National Manufacturing Innovation the President envisions will help harness America's inventive capacity and turn ideas into new products and enhance U.S. competitiveness. Germany, Japan, Korea, and other countries have demonstrated the effectiveness of similar approaches for creating and sustaining dynamic manufacturing sectors while also maintaining high wages and global market share.
The future of manufacturing transcends party identification. We hope this is an initiative that can be implemented as soon as possible."
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