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June is Manufacturing Month

June 14, 2011

Cory Churches is a Communications and Outreach Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Did you know that June is manufacturing month? ITA has an entire division dedicated to supporting U.S. manufacturers, the Manufacturing and Services division. The trade specialists, economists, and highly knowledgable staff provide analysis and tools specifically to help manufacturers become and remain competitive. Below is a list of some of the progams and services companies can tap into to improve their competitiveness:

  • The Manufacturing Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the competitiveness of the Aircraft enginesmanufacturing sector, and government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturers. The Council is composed of up to 25 private sector representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry and include steel, textile, and superconductor manufacturers both large and small. Their products support a diverse range of industries such as the auto, aerospace, apparel and energy efficiency sectors.
  • The Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) has developed tools and resources to help companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, implement sustainable business practices faster and more effectively. The benefits to manufacturers include lower energy and resource costs, increased marketability of products and services and lower regulatory costs and risk.
  • Manufacturers will find the FTA Tariff Tool database helpful in determining the tariff, or tax at the border, that certain foreign countries will collect when products cross into their country. In trade agreements, countries commit to lowering tariff rates over time to zero. The FTA Tariff Data Tool is a database with all of the rates the United States’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) partners have committed to implementing and maintaining. Additionally, the database includes the tariff rates for Korea, Panama, and Colombia, although those trade agreements have not yet been implemented.
  • The Manufacturing Bi-Weekly highlights economic indicators, such as wage rates, profits, employment, production and productivity to give readers an overview of the state of the manufacturing sector.

The programs and services listed above are just an example of the sorts of assistance and support that the International Trade Administration can provide to manufacturers of all size.

7 comments

  1. Conducting such programs to increase the competitiveness is indeed a good idea.Consumers will surely benefit from such programs as the traders do.


  2. This should get more publicity, particularly with the economy in the shape it’s in. But how can any initiative to support domestic manufacturing compete with the current practice of outsourcing to foreign countries for cheap labor? It would be great to find a way to rally the public behind such a thing.


  3. I didn’t know that June is auto manufacturing month. However, car manufacturing is an integral part of the U.S economy; on a big scale (the big Michigan automotive companies such as Ford etc) plus the smaller businesses who also play a vital role in the process. The new tools and resources couldn’t have come at a better time. Our economy is still relatively unstable financially and the smaller companies will need all the resources they can get in order to remain competitive.


  4. basically robotics would assist with this, but that is not going to be popular when it relieves companies of needing to hire humans


  5. If we can compete in textile manufacturing that alone would reverse a lot of the trade deficit


  6. It is interesting to note that manufacturing did go up by 3.8% and yet manufacturing wages were down by .1% and manufacturing employment actually went down with a 3,000 job loss. I think this has to do with Globalization of the economy. The competition has increased substantially in the last couple of years due to the fact that many companies can now compete on the internet regardless of where they are in the world. As a result, manufacturing production did increase due to new players coming into manufacturing arena. However, employment data does not look promising. It is now a lot harder to compete because virtually any company in the world can compete with one another not based on knowledge or experience but simply based on visibility on the internet. Hence the price vs value concept is now very confusing. Therefore, the manufacturing numbers did go up probably as a result of larger number competing on price. However, other data indicated that cost per hour wen down probably because of quantity vs quality aspect. Our company manufactures laser based technology and we constantly see new manufacturers come into the market place. We strive ourselves on manufacturing quality custom based laser systems. Our prices might not be the lowest in the industry. But the value of a quality product spread over 10 or 15 years will deliver much better return on the investment than buying something cheaper right of the bat. We try very hard to put an emphasis in this in our marketing and promotional materials. Government policies and programs need to educate manufacturers on putting strong emphasis on value of the products vs simply the price. In addition, tax incentives on marketing these qualities would create additional “push” in overall manufacturing numbers.


  7. We should continue to provide tax incentives for manufacturers in the US through the Domestic Production Deduction. It’s good for American jobs and good for American Manufacturers.



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