Senators Introduce National Manufacturing Strategy Act

Recognizing that the manufacturing sector has historically led the American economy out of recession, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) have announced the introduction of the bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011.

The legislation is aimed at bolstering the competitiveness of the American manufacturing industry, spurring American job growth and strengthening the middle class. It would require the Commerce Secretary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector and submit to Congress a National Manufacturing Strategy. The goals of the strategy are to increase manufacturing jobs, identify emerging technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and strengthen the manufacturing sectors in which the U.S. is most competitive.

“Manufacturing helped build our middle class and must lead our nation’s economic recovery,” said Sen. Brown. “If we’re going to out-compete and out-innovate other countries, it will require a national manufacturing strategy. The United States has been without one, and our economy has paid the price. We are seeing manufacturing help lead us out of the recession, but we need a sustained strategy to ensure long-term growth and job creation.”

America has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs, or one-third of the total, over the last decade. With a per capita GDP of $47,400, the United States remains the world’s greatest economic power. However, unless we increase our exports – in 2010, the U.S. trade deficit was $630 billion – then we will encounter new threats to a complete economic recovery. The U.S. ranked 4 th in exports with about $1.27 trillion in exports last year, yet, we ranked first in imports.

The U.S. House has introduced similar legislation.