December 20, 2013: Manufacturing weathermen

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/20/2013

Good morning,

Ol’ Bob Dylan once sang “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” But when it comes to economic predictions? Yeah, Bob, I guess.

Take, for instance, the slow rise of manufacturing employment in the last year. Or the examples of American companies bringing outsourced production back to the States. How do you couple it with this, a cold, hard, and analytic take from the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

Egads. That doesn’t gel with the prediction, based upon a recent survey of major manufacturers, of a coming wave of reshored jobs; or President Obama’s promise to help the economy create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of his second term. But it certainly could be true if we don’t start reversing our cartoonishly large trade deficits.

What to make of it? Do we need a weatherman, America?

Elsewhere around the web:

China is on the verge of losing its title of “biggest foreign owner of U.S. debt,” reports Matthew Boesler for Business Insider. It looks like Japan may claim the title in 2014, thanks to its Abenomics policy regimen.

Moving at high speeds. The Illinois Department of Transportation issued a notice of intent to purchase 35 high-performance diesel-electric locomotives for several states using federal funds, writes William C. Vantuono for Railway Age. A similar effort took place in 2012, creating more than 250 jobs at a plant in Rochelle, Illinois.

ICYMI: Congressman Tim Ryan and 33 members of of the House sent a letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking member Sandy Levin on the need to prioritize American manufacturing in any discussion of tax reform. Read the full letter here.

Time grows short, America! So get off your duff and finish your holiday shopping! But when you hit the bricks, try to Buy American. Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul lays out how easy it is to shop Made in the USA this season.

Still need some ideas? Paul and and Alex Bogusky from the Made Movement put a few more together in a recent Huffington Post opinion. Or check out AAM’s curated list of American-made holiday gift ideas right here.

And, as always: Do you have an American-made gift that you’re giving, or coveting? We want to hear about it. Tweet it to @KeepItMadeinUSA or email us: info [at] aamfg [dot] org.

Happy Friday, America.

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