The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Asks Congress for More Supportive Manufacturing Policies

Congress’ recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report states that the manufacturing industry has recovered from the Great Recession and is thriving.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) found this information to be misleading and released a report today — titled “A Critique of CRS’s ‘U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective’” — saying the manufacturing industry is still in trouble and needs policymakers’ support to help it flourish again.

“America’s future economic prosperity depends on a healthy manufacturing sector,” said Robert Atkinson, founder and president of ITIF and co-author of the report. “We need to take an honest look in the mirror. Right now, the state of U.S. manufacturing is not a pretty picture. The CRS reports gets it wrong. The real facts are clear: U.S. manufacturing is in trouble and needs help more than ever.”

The ITIF report analyzes and opposes multiple statements from the CRS report:  

How many manufacturing jobs did we lose?

The CRS reports a 12 percent loss of manufacturing jobs between 2003 and 2013 based on unofficial data.

The ITIF report found that  based on the Bureau of Economic Analysis data, manufacturing employment decreased 30.7 percent between 2003 and 2013.

Is U.S. manufacturing output actually up?

The CRS report compares U.S. manufacturing output to other countries and finds that everything looks as it should with no real concerns.

The ITIF report compares U.S. manufacturing output as a percent of GDP and found that numbers were static at best.

Are there signs of growth?

The CRS report says the future is looking optimistic due to our high manufacturing R&D, high foreign direct investment and a high percentage of domestically manufactured inputs.

The ITIF report found that when controlling for industrial composition, the results are not so favorable for R&D.

The ITIF report continues with suggestions on how Congress could help support the struggling manufacturing industry, including legislation to reduce the corporate tax rate; improve investment incentives, including for R&D; better execute trade rules internationally and support manufacturing innovation and workforce development.

“Clearly, Congress needs to act to get U.S. manufacturing back on track,” said Atkinson. “Policymakers must take seriously the gravity of this situation. It is time to reinvigorate American manufacturing  before it’s too late.”

Read the full ITIF report here.




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