US Remains the World Leader in Manufacturing

Feb 7, 2011

It has become common knowledge that factories are closing around the country and American jobs are moving overseas. China's rapid industrial growth is on the mind of government officials and American workers alike.

With the major decrease in manufacturing jobs it may seem as if the United States does not make its own products anymore. However, according to MSNBC, the reality is quite the opposite.  America still remains the No. 1 manufacturing country in the world, outproducing China by 40 percent.

What's changed is that U.S. manufacturers have abandoned products with thin profit margins, like consumer electronics, toys and shoes. They've ceded that sector to China, Indonesia and other emerging nations with low labor costs.Instead, American factories have seized upon complex and expensive goods requiring specialized labor: industrial lathes, computer chips, fighter jets, health care products.

America is still number one, but China is catching up.

Robert Scott of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute says China is cheating in world markets — keeping its currency artificially low to make Chinese products less expensive overseas and unfairly subsidizing its exporters.

Scott and other critics want to see the Obama administration support U.S. manufacturers by pressuring Beijing to drop the subsidies and let its currency rise freely. A higher-valued Chinese currency would make U.S. exports cheaper for Chinese consumers.

To read more about the status of American manufacturing, visit MSNBC.

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