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As nations engage in a race for global advantage in innovation, ITIF champions a new policy paradigm that ensures businesses and national economies can compete successfully by spurring public and private investment in foundational areas such as research, skills, and 21st century infrastructure. Our research on manufacturing policy examines current trends and encouraging continued innovation in the manufacturing sector through increased public and private investment.


Publications and Events

February 23, 2023|Blogs

Recent U.S. Manufacturing Employment Growth Hides the Sector’s Abysmal Productivity Performance

Over the last two years, the U.S. economy has added 830,000 manufacturing jobs. At first glance, this suggests a renewed strength in manufacturing. In reality, it masks a new weakness: productivity decline.

February 22, 2023|Op-Eds & Commentary

Manufacturing and Trade Balances: A Response from Rob Atkinson

Supporting manufacturing to lower the trade deficit doesn’t have to mean the dreaded “picking winners”. It could mean an investment tax credit and much higher R&D tax credit. It could be official policy to not defend the dollar. It could mean a regulatory system that spurs innovation.

September 19, 2022|Blogs

Fact of the Week: The US Manufacturing Trade Deficit as a Share of GDP Through June Is at Its Highest Level Since 2008

After falling from its peak of 5.7 percent in 2006 to 3.6 percent in 2019, the United States’ manufacturing trade deficit as a share of its GDP has risen to 5.3 percent in 2022 through June, its highest level since 2008 (5.5 percent).

September 16, 2022|Blogs

Washington Post Gets It Wrong on Manufacturing Jobs

Catherine Rampell’s recent Washington Post column parrots conventional “inside the beltway” wisdom about U.S. manufacturing but demonstrates that pundits often don’t understand real economics.

July 25, 2022|Blogs

Fact of the Week: The Midwest and Great Plains are America’s Regional Leaders in Industrial Robot Usage

Industrial robot concentration is especially high in Michigan, where 39.5 percent of manufacturing employees had exposure to them in 2019.

July 11, 2022|Blogs

Fact of the Week: The US Share of the PCB Market Fell From Over 30 Percent in 2000 to Just 4 Percent in 2020

The United States is addressing its anemic share of the semiconductor fabrication market (which was 40 percent in 1990) through the CHIPS for America Act and U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act. But while these measures are steps in the right direction, they only address a narrow set of the electronics ecosystem.

June 6, 2022|Blogs

Fact of the Week: US Manufacturing Capacity Utilization Is at Its Highest Since 2007

Manufacturing capacity utilization in the United States has fallen steadily since the 1970s as manufacturing relocated from the United States to regions such as Southeast Asia, and it remains 9 percentage points below its high in November 1973.

March 17, 2022|Events

Devil in the Details: Reconciling the House and Senate Versions of Competitiveness Legislation

Watch ITIF and an expert panel featuring key policymakers and leading analysts who discussed how to bring House and Senate versions of competitiveness legislation across the finish line in a form that will be a winner for U.S. workers and the economy.

February 7, 2022|Blogs

Fact of the Week: Developing Countries Are Leading Global Growth in Robot Adoption

From 2000 to 2016 new robot adoption grew by roughly 70 percent in North America and Europe, whereas it grew more than 300 percent in the rest of the world.

January 20, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary, Blogs

Launching an Advanced Manufacturing Institute in SPACE

Now is the time to launch a new Manufacturing USA institute to support manufacturing research and manufacturing at scale in low Earth orbit (LEO), and build the space workforce of the future

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