In these divisive times, it can seem like Americans from every political leaning and ideology have difficulty finding common ground on any topic. At this point, even the color of the sky seems to be up for debate. Luckily, there is one issue which everyone, regardless of political viewpoint, can get behind: American manufacturing. The benefits of an American manufacturing renaissance would be wide-ranging and benefit every American, both directly and indirectly.
The size and scope of the United States’ manufacturing sector is stunning. If you isolated the American manufacturing industry, it would be the 9th largest economy in the world. In 2016, manufacturing comprised 12 percent of total American economic output and its goods made up half of US exports. Additionally, there are indirect benefits of a strong manufacturing sector: for every dollar spent in manufacturing adds approximately $1.50 by promoting growth in other industries, such as business services, transportation, and retail.
While American manufacturing remains robust, it is a shell of its former self. While the manufacturing sector comprises 12 percent of the GDP today, that number was as high as 24 percent in 1970. There are several reasons why spurring an American manufacturing comeback is vitally important and can benefit all Americans.
It may seem obvious, but a manufacturing comeback will help with unemployment and create well-paying jobs for millions of Americans. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing jobs on average pay 12% more than all other types of employment. In 2015, the average American manufacturing employee earned more than $80,000. There is ample room in the industry for growth, as 600,000 jobs are ready and waiting for skilled workers to fill them.
Cutting the Deficit
In August of this year, United States Department of Commerce reported that the trade deficit currently stands at $42.4 billion. When the American manufacturing sector was at its height, the United States enjoyed a trade surplus. The growing trade deficit was responsible for the loss of 5 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2014. By placing an emphasis on American manufacturing, we can begin to reverse the growth of the trade deficit and create more jobs for American workers.
There is no denying that an active and thriving manufacturing industry sparks innovation that benefits all. By spending on Research and Development (R&D), the manufacturing industry allows the United States to remain the world’s leading innovator. The automotive industry, in particular, is an indispensable factor in leading innovation. The automotive industry spends approximately $18 billion per year in the United States on R&D, which represents 16 percent of total R&D. A thriving manufacturing sector can spur innovation that will improve the lives of everyday Americans.
At Elio Motors, our aim is to do our part in encouraging an American manufacturing comeback. We believe that by manufacturing our vehicle in the United States, we can create well-paying American jobs, help reverse the growing trade deficit, and foster American innovation. We plan on doing this by using American parts, American suppliers, and employing American talent.