A label that reads “Made in America” has a deeper significance than merely identifying the product’s country of origin: it signifies a culmination of American innovation, American perseverance, and a dedication to manufacture the product in the United States. The label “American Made” seems to be getting rarer and the time has come to initiate an American Manufacturing Renaissance.
The importance of American manufacturing goes beyond the need for a strong economy and spurring job creation. A recent report released by the Brookings Institute identifies four reasons that make American manufacturing so vital to the nation’s wellbeing:
- “Manufacturing provides high-wage jobs, especially for workers who would otherwise earn the lowest wages.
- Manufacturing is the major source of commercial innovation and is essential for innovation in the service sector.
- Manufacturing can make a major contribution to reducing the nation’s trade deficit.
- Manufacturing makes a disproportionately large contribution to environmental sustainability.”
The Brookings Institute report shows that the importance of American manufacturing is multifaceted. Not only does it create well-paying jobs, but is a crucial driver for innovation and environmental responsibility. American manufacturing and innovation go hand-in-hand and, in order for the United States to remain a country of innovators, the two need to work in harmony.
With such an economic impact, it would be natural to think that American Manufacturing may have a hand in the seemingly improving economy. Sadly, that is not the case. According to CNN Money in 2015, “America’s manufacturing sector shrank for the second straight month in December. The industry’s key index — ISM — hit 48.2% in December, the lowest mark since June 2009. Anything below 50% is a contraction and a month ago it hit 48.6%. The index has fallen for six straight months.”
When American manufacturing is discussed, even in a polarized election cycle, nearly everyone from every political persuasion is in agreement on the importance of supporting American manufacturing and creating jobs. A poll found that “86 percent agreed (including 68 percent who strongly agreed) that U.S. companies outsourcing work to foreign countries is one of the reasons for our struggling economy and unemployment.” When an idea is universally supported by both national sentiment and the facts, the next steps should include how to implement that idea.
An important way to encourage an American Manufacturing Renaissance is to actively support companies that fight to keep and create jobs in the United States, even if it is detrimental to their bottom lines. When consumers spend, companies listen and a surefire way to make sure more jobs and products are created in the United States is to buy American-made products from American companies.
According to Forbes, American manufacturing is down approximately 40% from its peak in June 1979. While we may never see those heights again, there is no denying that there is massive opportunity for growth. For the good of the country, it is time to ignite an American Manufacturing Renaissance by supporting companies that are dedicated to creating American jobs and products.