Quality Magazine

Changing the Landscape of American Manufacturing

May 14, 2010

MCLEAN, VA - How does American manufacturing move forward in the next decade? The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) believes cooperation and innovation are the keys. How do we achieve this vision? By developing a clear path that AMT calls the Manufacturing Mandate.

AMT is calling for a federal policy of collaboration between government, industry and academia. The federal policy would incentivize innovation and R&D in new products and manufacturing technologies; assure the availability of capital; increase global competitiveness; minimize structural cost burdens; and enhance and build a better educated and trained "smartforce."

A solid recovery has been slow to take hold, and that has been especially true in the manufacturing sector where credit remains tight and uncertainty over the future has prevented companies from retooling, diversifying, and investing in R&D. AMT believes its national manufacturing mandate is necessary to cement this recovery and create a strong foundation for sustained economic growth.

It is clear the credit and confidence obstacles are shifting attention away from where it should be: on innovation and creating the highly skilled, well-paid jobs that naturally follow. The United States currently lags behind its trading partners in new fields we should be dominating. That is because of a business and regulatory environment that thwarts progress. If government policy and resources aren’t redirected to focus on innovation and R&D, there will be more missed opportunities for American technological leadership, and U.S. citizens will ultimately suffer.

It is possible for the government, industry, and academic communities to work together, utilizing an infrastructure already in place, to revitalize the manufacturing sector and promote real economic growth. AMT is poised to work with the federal government to implement a national manufacturing strategy – a Manufacturing Mandate that will establish the United States as the worldwide leader in next-generation manufacturing technologies and the world-class products and services they provide.