A Charter for Revitalizing American Manufacturing

Robert D. Atkinson Stephen Ezell December 15, 2011
December 15, 2011
The product of a collaboration from business and labor organizations to academic institutions, the charter underscores the importance of manufacturing and provides policy recommendations for ensuring the U.S. manufacturing environment.

The Charter for Revitalizing American Manufacturing is the product of a collaboration by individuals from business and labor organizations, think tanks, non-profits, and academic institutions. Their unanimous support for the charter underscores the fact there is broad agreement on the importance of manufacturing and diverse support for taking some fundamental steps to revitalize and strengthen manufacturing that transcend political ideology or party affiliation.

Over the past decade, the United States suffered the deepest industrial decline in world history, as the country lost 33 percent of its manufacturing jobs—a worse manufacturing job loss than even during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the view that the U.S. economy can thrive without manufacturing as a post-industrial, knowledge- and services-based economy has become all too prevalent among many Washington economic policy elites. But the reality is that the United States will not experience a robust economic recovery without revitalizing its manufacturing sector—and this requires a comprehensive and coherent strategy to revitalize American manufacturing.

The charter succinctly explains why manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy and articulates the need for a coherent national manufacturing strategy based on the “Four Ts”: Technology, Tax, Trade, and Talent. It also lays out policy recommendations for improving access to credit and financing support for American manufacturers. In sum, the charter endorses policies that promote U.S.-based investment, innovation, and production in manufacturing; ensures the United States offers the world’s best manufacturing environment in terms of workforce, technology and infrastructure; and enforces trade partner obligations more vigorously.


Signatories to the charter include the following orgnaizations (and/or individuals):

Bob Baugh, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council; 

Scott Boos, Alliance for American Manufacturing; 

Doug Woods, AMT-Association for Manufacturing Technology;

Howard Wial,* The Brookings Institution;

Michael Stumo, Coalition for a Prosperous America; 

Jack McDougle,* Council on Competitiveness; 

Clyde Prestowitz, Economic Strategy Institute; 

Robert Atkinson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation;

Jeff Finkle, International Economic Development Council;

Stephen Gold, Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI; 

Mark Rice, Maritime Applied Physics Corporation; 

Lenny Mendonca, McKinsey Global Institute; 

Fred Wentzel, NACFAM; 

Emily DeRocco,  NAM - The Manufacturing Institute; 

Drew Greenblatt, Regional Manufacturing Alliance; 

Harry Moser, Reshoring Initiative; 

Mark Tomlinson, Society of Manufacturing Engineers; and 

Jerry Jasinowski, Former President, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and NAM - The Manufacturing Institute. 

William Bonvillian, Director of the MIT Washington Office, served as an Advisory Contributor to the charter.