Archive for the ‘Manufacturing’ Category

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U.S. Manufacturing Attracts Foreign Investment

January 29, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

By Mark Schmit, National Accounts Manager, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership

U.S. Manufacturing Attracts Foreign InvestmentThe United States is an attractive destination for foreign investment dollars for a variety of reasons, including a large economy with diverse consumer markets, a skilled labor force (thanks to community colleges with skill-development missions as well as research universities) and a predictable and stable regulatory system. These reasons and more explain why the U.S. has been the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2006 according to an October 2013 White House report, Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S.

Working for NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), I wasn’t surprised to learn that the manufacturing industry is the largest beneficiary of FDI in the United States, accounting for more than one-third of that investment, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. “Made in America” is, after all, a de facto stamp of approval the world over. We are a manufacturer’s dream!

And investments in manufacturing have powerful multiplier effects on the U.S. economy. Every $1 spent in manufacturing generates $1.35 in additional economic activity. Since 1988, MEP has been committed to strengthening U.S. manufacturing and individual manufacturers, contributing to the growth of well-paying jobs, the development of dynamic manufacturing communities, and the enhancement of American innovation and global competitiveness.

MEP delivers its own high return on investment to taxpayers. For every dollar of federal investment, MEP clients generate nearly $19 in new sales, which translates into $2.5 billion annually. Last year, MEP centers served more than 30,000 manufacturing clients—a subset of which are foreign-owned. For example, since 2012, MEP centers worked on 900 projects with 322 manufacturers in the U.S. that have ownership ties to other countries. These projects helped those companies create and retain more than $700 million dollars in sales, save about $77 million and create or retain more than 6,000 U.S. jobs.

Looking beyond the statistics, we find many interesting success stories that illustrate how MEP centers across the country help make the most of foreign investment in U.S. manufacturing.

  • Pasta Montanais a contract manufacturer that uses durum semolina to craft specialty pasta. About 40 percent of the 100-employee, 24-7 operation’s business goes to the Japanese market, and it sells to other countries as well. When a key customer asked the company to certify its products to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Pasta Montana called Montana MEP affiliate MMEC to help prepare for the GFSI audit—which they did in less than four months. The successful effort helped the company retain millions of dollars in sales (about 15 percent of its business), and achieve 3 to 5 percent growth through new business opportunities.
  • Eagle Bend Manufacturing, Inc., manufactures automotive parts for cars and light weight trucks worldwide. A division of Magna International, Inc., of Canada, Eagle Bend has been in Clinton, Tenn., for more than 25 years and employs more than 450 workers. When the increasing number and volume of parts the company made started to create inefficiencies, Eagle Bend turned toTennessee MEPfor help optimizing both its product flow and use of space. This resulted in projected benefits that will top $2 million annually and a $64 million dollar facility expansion that will create 188 jobs over the next five years and add 100,000 square feet of floor space.
  • With more than a century of design and manufacturing experience, RECARO Aircraft SeatingAmericas Inc. is a global supplier of premium aircraft seats for leading airlines around the world. Based in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, the company employs more than 1,600 worldwide including 350 at its facility in Fort Worth, Tex. To meet growing demand, the company partnered with TMAC, the Texas MEP affiliate, on a series of operational excellence initiatives. As a result of that investment, RECARE has seen a 15 percent increase in production, 38 percent increase in on-time delivery, and an 86 percent improvement in the time needed to retrieve parts.
  • Igus Bearings, Inc., is a global company with headquarters in Germany and a new, 162,000- square-foot factory and office facility in East Providence, R.I. Igus has served the North American market for almost 30 years, making polymer bearings and chains that are sold across many industries, including agriculture, construction and automotive. The economic downturn of 2008 changed business operations for Igus, as smaller orders replaced the large orders it was efficiently fulfilling. The ability to handle any order of any size was key to survival against larger (but slower) competitors. Providence-based Polaris MEPhelped Igus implement lean practices, leading to 50 percent fewer customer complaints and faster shipping times—96 percent of orders now ship within 24 hours.

We should see even more of these success stories thanks to high investor confidence in the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. For the second year in a row, the U.S. topped A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, a survey of 300 companies worldwide. The U.S. is not only the most likely destination for FDI, but never in the 16-year history of this index has a country had such a positive net position. Foreign investment is clearly good for foreign investors, U.S. manufacturers and the communities they support.

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Celebrating One of Florida’s and the Nation’s Key Industries on Manufacturing Day

October 3, 2014

Chandra Brown is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing. 

A manufacturing worker works on an automobile engine.

Manufacturing supports 17.4 million U.S. jobs.

Happy Manufacturing Day!

There are more than 1,500 Manufacturing Day events taking place across the country today, highlighting the importance of the manufacturing industry to the U.S. economy, American jobs, and to global innovation.

I am in Tampa, Florida, to tour three manufacturing facilities and meet the local manufacturing community.

I will visit these businesses today with Sandra Campbell of Tampa’s Export Assistance Center, and we’ll join students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses designed to showcase the innovation taking place in modern manufacturing and the professional opportunities that are available in the industry.

Touring manufacturing facilities, discovering their amazing abilities, and meeting the next generation of manufacturers are always the best parts of my job!

Today we’ll be visiting:

  • Microlumen is a major producer of surgical quality heart tubing and a major exporter: microlumen.com.
  • Southern Manufacturing Technologies is a leader in precision machined components and assemblies primarily for the aviation and aerospace industry: smt-tampa.com.
  • Lockheed Martin (Tampa Bay plant) specializes in metal forming, fabrication and assembly of components for many of the company’s major programs: lockheedmartin.com.

I’m especially looking forward to meeting with the local high school students to discuss the rewarding and challenging careers that manufacturing has to offer.

A few facts to remember on this important day:

  • Manufacturing supports 17.4 million U.S. jobs.
  • Manufacturing career opportunities include engineers, designers, machinists, and computer programmers.
  • The annual average salary of manufacturing workers is more than $77,000, which is approximately 17 percent more than similar workers employed in other sectors.
  • For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, the sector creates $1.32 for the U.S. economy.

If you’re not in Tampa Bay, there are plenty of other opportunities for you to connect to your local manufacturing community, and I hope you’ll do so today.

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Supporting Manufacturers on Manufacturing Day and Every Day

September 25, 2014

Greg Sizemore is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service team in North Carolina.

Robots In a Car Factory

Manufacturing is a crucial contributor to the economy of North Carolina and the entire United States.

Manufacturing is more than just a cornerstone of the U.S. economy; it’s a cornerstone of modern life.

The screen you’re reading this on is a manufactured commodity. The radio you’re listening to, the car you drove to work, the smartphone your kids keep staring at – your refrigerator, your TV, your medicine – all manufactured goods.

Many headlines about U.S. manufacturing are negative, focusing on increased global competition in the sector, but the fact is that the U.S. manufacturing industry is growing, it’s supporting jobs, and it is supporting higher quality of life here in the U.S. and around the world.

Manufacturing is also a major source of U.S. exports, and the International Trade Administration estimates that one in four U.S. manufacturing jobs is supported by exports. That’s huge for our economy and I’m glad that we’ll celebrate the industry on Manufacturing Day on October 3.

Here in North Carolina, our manufacturers are creating and exporting billions of dollars’ worth of transportation equipment, chemicals, electronics products plastics, and more. I’m glad that my office in Charlotte and our other Export Assistance Centers in the state get to work with local manufacturers to find opportunities to sell their quality products in foreign markets.

If you’re a manufacturer looking to do business overseas, here are some of the services an Export Assistance Center can provide for you:

  • Market Research: Find out you product’s potential in a given market. Learn about specific regulations that could affect your business model. This kind of information is crucial for your export strategy.
  • Gold Key Matchmaking: Who are the best distributors in a market? What potential joint venture partners exist? What are the best government contacts for you to have? We can find those contacts, make introductions, and make sure you spend your time doing what’s most important: managing your company.
  • Trade Missions: Imagine you could go on a trip to a target market, surrounded by market and industry experts, and meet the foreign government and industry leaders most relevant to your business. That is a trade mission. We connect you to the most relevant opportunities and contacts to make sure you have every advantage to being successful in a market.
  • Trade Leads: We have commercial diplomats on the ground in more than 70 global markets and they have their fingers on the pulse of the business environment. Let us tell you the most current and relevant opportunities for your business around the globe.

You should also consider attending an event in our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS Business Forum Series. We have export-promotion events coming up in New York, Georgia, Minnesota, and – of course – North Carolina, to support your business in competing abroad. There’s no better event to give your company a leg up in the global marketplace.

There are many other ways the Commercial Service can support your manufacturing business, so contact your nearest Export Assistance Center for assistance.

As Manufacturing Day approaches, I want to thank the 50-plus North Carolina-based manufacturers who are opening their doors to the public on October 3. I hope many of you in the Tar Heel State, and around the country, will participate in Manufacturing Day this year!

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Find Export Opportunities in the Automotive Parts Industry!

September 3, 2014

Kellie Holloway is a Senior International Trade Specialist based in Portland, Oregon, and Member of the Commercial Service’s Global Automotive Team.

image of machinery working on an auto frame

More than one-third of U.S. auto parts exports went to Mexico in 2013. Automotive Meetings 2015 will connect more U.S. suppliers to prime export opportunities in the Mexican market!

One great thing about trade is that it presents opportunities for growth and success for companies in all industries throughout the world.

That’s readily apparent in the automotive industry, where growth in exports throughout North America is creating opportunity for businesses across the continent.

In the United States, auto parts manufacturers achieved $77.5 billion in exports in 2013, and more than a third of those exports – $26.6 billion – went to Mexico. That is a 9.2 percent increase from 2012, and it is a result of Mexico’s continued growth as one of the world’s top five auto exporters.

As Mexico’s automotive exports continue to grow, they will need more and more quality American-made parts fueling their auto manufacturing supply chain, and we at the International Trade Administration want to help form connections between Mexico’s top producers and the most high-quality suppliers in the United States.

One way we’ll support those connections is through the Automotive Meetings event in Queretaro, Mexico February 23-25, 2015. We will connect American suppliers directly to procurement, supply chain, and engineering teams from some of the top vehicle production sites in Mexico.

This could be a great event for any U.S. auto company looking to expand its exports!

To better serve our U.S. clients, we are also hosting two free webinars in advance of the Automotive Meetings event, which will help you learn more about the event in Queretaro, and how to best take advantage of it. The next webinar is Nov. 4, 2014.

auto webinar

U.S. auto exports support thousands of jobs throughout the country, and our team is committed to helping more and more businesses find success in exporting.

If your auto parts company is ready to start exporting, follow our team at @cs_autoteam, visit your nearest Export Assistance Center, or find more information about our services on our website.

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Keeping the United States on Top of Manufacturing Innovation

June 9, 2014
A manufacturing worker works on an automobile engine.

The Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Council wants the United States to remain a manufacturing leader.

Michael Laszkiewicz is the Chair of the Manufacturing Council. He is the Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Automation.

I serve as chair of the Manufacturing Council, which advises Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on the manufacturing industry. The Council is composed of representatives from large and small manufacturers from across the United States.

Our objective is to identify and recommend ways the U.S. government can respond to the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers to ensure our competitiveness at home and abroad.

At our most recent meeting, the Council adopted three letters of recommendation focused on workforce development best practices; a national campaign to address the misperceptions around manufacturing careers; and a shale gas study to inform liquid natural gas export policy decisions, and opportunities in manufacturing, innovation, and research and development.

We believe these recommendations will better position the United States as a leader not just in manufacturing productivity, but in manufacturing and science innovation. Having the right technology, the right workforce, and the appropriate level of respect for the manufacturing industry is crucial to protecting U.S. jobs and the long-term health of the economy.

Below is a summary of our recommendations.  For more information, you can read the Council’s full recommendations at: http://trade.gov/manufacturingcouncil/.

Recommendations for Manufacturing Innovation, Research and Development:

  • Designate federal manufacturing innovation programs as an Interagency Science and Technology Initiative.
  • The Administration strengthens the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and the role of the national labs.

Recommendations to Improve Workforce Development and the Public Perception of Manufacturing:

  • Develop a national manufacturing perceptions campaign to reset America’s manufacturing mindset.
  • Realign Workforce development programs for Advanced Production Technologies.

Recommendation for Manufacturing Energy Policy: 

  • Lead a study evaluating the implications of natural gas exports on jobs and economic growth.
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U.S. Automotive Industry Driving Exports

March 28, 2014

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Ontario, California. He is the leader of ITA’s Commercial Service Global Automotive Team.File photo of workers building a car.

The U.S. Commercial Service’s auto team is dedicated to increasing U.S. automotive exports and supporting American automotive manufacturers doing business around the world. The automotive industry is crucial to the American economy as one of the largest employers and manufactured goods export sectors.

We’re happy to report that 2013 was an excellent year for the industry! Here are some highlights:

It’s clear this industry is running on all cylinders! We expect continued success for American businesses in this sector, so contact your nearest Export Assistance Center if you’re ready to bring your automotive products into the global market.

Our Global Automotive Team has specialists throughout the country and at US Embassies and Consulates in 72 countries. We are ready to help your company achieve its export goals.

Be sure to follow our team on Twitter @cs_autoteam to learn more about our automotive industry initiatives, upcoming events and other updates.

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Atoms for Prosperity: ITA Leads Largest Ever U.S. Industry Delegation to 6th Annual U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference

October 30, 2013

Chandra Brown is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Chandra Brown and other U.S. government officials with the industry delegation at the USA: Atoms for Prosperity Exhibit.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Chandra Brown and other U.S. government officials with the industry delegation at the USA: Atoms for Prosperity Exhibit.

In September, I led a delegation of twenty-seven U.S. companies and organizations to the U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna, Austria. The program helped U.S. civil nuclear companies showcase their world-class technology to foreign government decision makers and energy policymakers from around the world.

It was an important event to support U.S. businesses in a growing industry. The global civil nuclear market is estimated to be worth about $850 billion by 2020, which creates significant export opportunities for U.S. companies.

Throughout the program, I met with senior foreign government delegations, IAEA officials and international energy policymakers to highlight the benefits of U.S. nuclear technologies and how they can help countries meet their civil nuclear energy goals.

The companies had some 100 meetings with potential foreign government customers of civil nuclear energy products and technologies. These meetings enabled companies to highlight the benefits offered by U.S. civil nuclear companies and encourage market-friendly policies.

Company representatives also met with our civil nuclear trade specialists to learn about sales opportunities and Commerce Department services to help them win export sales.

The theme of this year’s U.S. Industry Program was “Atoms for Prosperity,” which captures the civil nuclear industry’s economic benefits as well as the United States’ commitment to the safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy for peaceful uses. This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s 1953 speech, “Atoms for Peace.”

Several senior U.S. government officials also supported the event, including Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Executive Director Mark Satorius, White House Director for Nuclear Energy Policy Joyce Connery, and other officials from the Departments of Energy, State and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

I am proud to have been part of such a distinguished industry delegation to Vienna to demonstrate before a global audience the U.S. Government’s strong support for its industry. This event is the first of many that will showcase the U.S. civil nuclear industry’s world-class technologies and services and help create jobs in the United States, while expanding our civil nuclear cooperation with other countries.

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