The year in review: How manufacturing reared its head throughout 2012

Posted by LDonia on 01/02/2013

With 2012 securely behind us, we wanted to highlight a few key “American Manufacturing Moments” that occurred this past year.

  • President Obama kicked off the manufacturing narrative for 2012 with his January State of the Union address. He indicated a renewed focus on American manufacturing, promising to get tough on unfair trade practices by China and help American companies that choose to manufacture domestically. Both journalists, and the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), took notice.

  • Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney, embraced a tough stance with trading partner, China, as part of his campaign message. In early spring, the Wall Street Journal highlighted Romney’s approach to China. Throughout the rest of the campaign, Romney reiterated his ideas in both campaign stops and during debates.

  • In July, ABC News revealed that the American Olympic team would be sporting Chinese-made uniforms during the opening ceremony of the event. Internet and media backlash ensued, leading to a deal struck between the United States Olympic Committee and a group of U.S. Senators requiring that future opening/closing ceremony uniforms be Made in the U.S.A. Also worth noting, this was not the first time these uniforms had been made overseas. It was the first time, however, that such an uproar ensued. This is further proof that Americans are taking domestic manufacturing seriously.

  • In 2012, political campaigns were entirely unavoidable for those living in the United States. From television, radio and internet ads to billboards, lawn signs, and bus ads, election talk was nearly everywhere. Despite the overwhelming nature of it all, we took some comfort in the content of many election-year ads. Why? Because they were supportive of American manufacturing. Regardless of state and party affiliation, we saw a plethora of candidates for local, state, and federal offices discuss the importance of American manufacturing as part of their campaigns. In fact, an analysis commissioned by AAM found that indeed, manufacturing, China and outsourcing were the most mentioned issues in presidential TV campaign ads. PS: We weren't the only ones who took note.

  • Throughout the course of 2012 we saw examples, big and small, of manufacturing’s return to the United States. Granted, many of these comebacks were offset by departures, but it’s important to realize that many big businesses are taking American manufacturing seriously. Apple, Starbucks, Hershey’s and Whirlpool (to name a few) took actions in 2012 that solidified their commitments to domestic manufacturing.


This is an abbreviated list, but fear not, tomorrow we will be citing some of AAM's biggest accomplishments of 2012. These include a couple of big manufacturing events that didn't make it to this list. See you then!

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