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  Data and Reports

Global Competitiveness

Research and Reports Main Page

Analysis of the current global competitive landscape for manufacturing and the drivers that will redefine it in the future

Featured Reports:

State of ManufacturingwhitelineOn the Threshold: Refocusing U.S. Export Assistance Strategy for Manufacturers
June 2013
Category: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Supply Chain

This report offers observations and recommendations on how to increase small and mid-size manufacturers (SMMs) SMMs’ contribution to manufacturing exports; and answers questions related to: the importance of exporting to SMMs with the greatest export growth potential, types of assistance exporters need, the importance of innovation and supply chain for growing exports, and export assistance in a a limited funding environment. The report is in support of a major joint research efforts undertaken by MEP and the U.S.Commercial Service.

Global CompetitivenesswhitelineCompetitiveness, Innovation, and Productivity: Clearing up Confusion
August 2013
Category: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Productivity

To listen to many economists, pundits and policymakers discuss the economics of growth it would be easy to be confused by the commonly used terms: competitiveness, innovation and productivity. These terms are often used almost interchangeably and with little precise meaning. To remedy the situation, this policy memo defines these terms and explains how each is important in driving economic prosperity.



Manufacturing Since the Great Recession - June 2014
This report provides an overview of the renewed expansion in manufacturing, examining output, international trade, and the labor market. The steady growth across all three of these areas might have seemed like wishful thinking just a few years ago when manufacturing was hit especially hard. Since the last recession, however, manufacturing output and exports have surpassed their pre-recession levels, and employment has begun to grow again for the first time since 1998. Nonetheless, while the manufacturing expansion is robust, it has not been even across manufacturing industries and the states. Other categories: Current State of MFGGlobal CompetitivenessEducation & Workforce, Productivity

MAKING IN AMERICA:   U.S. Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Innovation - June 2014
The White House report, Making in America: U.S. Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Innovation, demonstrates how new game-changing technologies are reducing the cost, increasing the speed, and making it easier for entrepreneurs and manufacturers to translate new ideas into products Made in America.  These new technologies are already having an impact, with the growth rate in manufacturing entrepreneurship at its fastest pace in over 20 years. Other categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce

The 2014 State New Economy Index - June 2014
This paper discusses why America needs a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Part one of the paper makes the case for an innovation-centered national manufacturing policy. It lays out key challenges facing the U.S. manufacturing sector, advances reasons why the nation should care about manufacturing, and sets forth the rationale for an active federal role in fostering manufacturing innovation. Part two of the paper articulates five key principles that should govern the design of the NNMI. Other categories:  Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education & Workforce

Manufacturing Workforce Development Playbook: Preparing for the Manufacturing Renaissance in America - May 2014
The Manufacturing Workforce Development Playbook offers strategies and programs that have been successfully employed by industry, education and government to collaboratively solve the challenges of preparing workers for 21st century careers in manufacturing. Edited by manufacturing workforce authority Keith Campbell, with contributions from over 20 experts, this resource brings together relevant data, case studies and expert insights about educating and training operators, technicians and technologists for America’s manufacturing renaissance.  To view the report, registration is required.  Just complete the form and instantly receive your free copy of the PDF edition. When you hit submit, you’ll have a choice of “opening” or “saving” the file.  Hit save and the PDF downloads directly to where ever your download folder resides.  The PDF file is not e-mailed.
Other categories: Current State of MFG,Global Competitiveness, Federal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce,

The Role of Exports in the United States Economy - May 2014
In his 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) as part of a government-wide strategy to promote exports. During the ensuing years, as the U.S. recovered from the economic downturn in the “Great Recession,” the growth in U.S. exports has been one of the major success stories in the U.S. economy. Since 2009, exports have helped pull the U.S. economy out of the devastating recession that occurred between 2007 and 2009. Exports have contributed more to the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in this recovery than in the previous recovery; have helped support millions of high-paying jobs in the U.S.; and have been responsible for major contributions to the economic performance of many states and metropolitan areas. Moving forward, exports will continue to make important contributions to the U.S. economy and the NEI/NEXT is structured to do more to help U.S. manufacturers, farmers, workers and innovators sell Made-in-America products and services world-wide to the benefit of our economy.
Other categories: Capital & Cost, Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

2014 Global R&D Funding Forecast - December 2013
While R&D funding isn’t the sole indicator of how a nation, region or industry will perform, it certainly is a fundamental consideration among other factors like science, technology, engineering and mathematics education levels, capital markets, healthcare, infrastructure, property rights and immigration policy. Each section of this report forecasts research and development levels for 2014, closely examining the expected funding for a region or industry. There are many important projections and key findings for each country and industry under discussion.
Other Categories: Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal/Industry Collaboration,Education & Workforce

The Emerging U.S. Rail Industry: Opportunities to support American manufacturing and spur regional development - November 2013
A number of factors have come together to heighten the importance of rail transit to the U. S. economy. These same factors present new opportunities for domestic manufacturers of rail cars and equipment to benefit, however, historical and structural barriers to seizing these opportunities exist. This paper explores each of these areas in detail and makes recommendations to policy makers on how they might best support a strong and growing domestic supply chain for the rail transit industry.
Other Categories: Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global Competitiveness, Federal/Industry Collaboration,Education & Workforce, Supply Chain

A Clarion Call: A Look Back and a Path Forward - November 2013
The Clarion Call, A Look Back and a Path Forward provides a federal policy “report card” of actions (and lack of actions) since the Council issued a clear and concise agenda to policymakers last year, which included a road map to grow the American economy and included core principles and recommendations critical for the United States’ long term economic growth and job creation.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal/Industry Collaboration, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations


New Report: Foreign Direct Investment In the United States - October 2013 The United States has been the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2006. Every day, foreign companies establish new operations in the United States or provide additional capital to established businesses. With the world’s largest consumer market, skilled and productive workers, a highly innovative environment, appropriate legal protections, a predictable regulatory environment, and a growing energy sector, the United States offers an attractive investment climate for firms across the globe. Other Categories: Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global Competitiveness, Supply Chain

ThomasNet Industry Market Barometer®- September 2013's Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) is an annual survey of buyers and sellers of products and services in the industrial market. Respondents are engineers and purchasing agents, business owners and managers, and sales and marketing executives from manufacturers, distributors and service companies.'s® 2013 Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) survey of more than 1,200 manufacturers paints a picture of a sector that is reinventing itself every day. These companies are growing, expecting future growth, hiring, and increasing their production capacity to meet additional demand. This report discusses barriers, opportunities, and solutions to designing energy efficiency programs that result in significant savings from smaller manufacturers.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation,Global Competitiveness,Education & Workforce, Productivity

Advanced Manufacturing in the American South: An Economic Analysis Supporting Regional Development - September 2013
This report focuses on both the economic and policy analysis associated with advanced manufacturing. The following key conclusions emerge regarding state policy and advanced manufacturing: States play a central role in promoting economic development and industrialization; This is a new era of industrial development for the SGA states; State policy in support of the advanced manufacturing sector must be carefully coordinated with other public and private entities that seek to promote economic development in order to maximize returns for state residents and the business community; A strategy for fostering the growth of advanced manufacturing should be based on carefully developed strategic plans that build on SWOT assessments of state assets and needs and include quantifiable goals and objectives.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Capital & Cost,Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Global Manufacturing: Foreign Government Programs Differ in some Key Respects from those in the United States - August 2013
Over the last decade, the United States lost about one-third of its manufacturing jobs, raising concerns about U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. There may be insights to glean from government policies of similarly-situated countries, which are facing some of the same challenges of increased competition in manufacturing from developing countries. At the request of the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified innovative foreign programs that support manufacturing that may help inform U.S. policy.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal & Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations


The 2012 State New Economy Index - October 2012
The 2012 State New Economy Index builds on prior State New Economy Indexes published in 1999, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Overall, the report uses 26 indicators, divided into five key areas that best capture what is new about the New Economy: 1. Knowledge jobs; 2. Globalization; 3. Economic dynamism; 4. The digital economy; 5. Innovation capacity
Other Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education & Workforce

2012 Facts About Modern Manufacturing - October 2012
The 2012 Edition of the Facts of Manufacturing is a collection of the key facts and figures that define the state of the U.S. manufacturing industry.  The report provides 65 figures that show the importance of the manufacturing sector and challenges that our industry faces.  The first section of the report focuses on the importance of U.S. manufacturing in relation to economic growth, employment, the environment, and trade/investment.  Section two focuses on current and future challenges in U.S. manufacturing related to competitiveness, innovation, a skilled workforce and trade.
Other Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education & Workforce, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations, Sustainability

On the Threshold: Refocusing U.S. Export Assistance Strategy for Manufacturers - June 2013
This report offers observations and recommendations on how to increase small and mid-size manufacturers (SMMs) SMMs’ contribution to manufacturing exports; and answers questions related to: the importance of exporting to SMMs with the greatest export growth potential, types of assistance exporters need, the importance of innovation and supply chain for growing exports, and export assistance in a a limited funding environment. The report is in support of a major joint research efforts undertaken by MEP and the U.S.Commercial Service.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, InnovationFederal/Industry Collaboration, Supply Chain

CUT TO INVEST Support the Designation of 20 ‘U.S. Manufacturing Universities’ - January 2013
Congress should establish an initiative to designate 20 institutions of higher education as “U.S. Manufacturing Universities” as part of a needed push to strengthen the position of the United States in the increasingly innovation-driven global economy. Today, the challenge is even greater as America competes against a wide array of nations seeking to win the race for global innovation advantage, especially in advanced manufacturing. A new cadre of federally-designated “Manufacturing Universities” that revamp their engineering programs with particular emphasis on work that is relevant to manufacturing firms while providing engineering students with real-world work experience should be part of the solution.
Other Categories: Global Competitiveness, Education & Workforce

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy - December 2012
There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Legislative activity over the past 30 or more years has created a policy for technology development, albeit an ad hoc one. Because of the lack of consensus on the scope and direction of a national policy, Congress has taken an incremental approach aimed at creating new mechanisms to facilitate technological advancement in particular areas and making changes and improvements as necessary. This paper focuses on technology and competitiveness, the federal role in technology development, legislative initiatives, and current technology development programs.
Other Categories: Innovation, Federal/Industry Collaboration, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness - December 2012
In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. This paper examines the government's various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment designed to increase the competitiveness of American industry and to encourage the generation of new products, processes, and services. Given the increased popularity of cooperative programs, the paper looks at questions that might be raised as to whether the programs are meeting expectations. Among the issues before Congress are whether joint ventures contribute to industrial competitiveness and what role, if any, the government has in facilitating such arrangements.
Other Categories: Innovation, Federal/Industry Collaboration, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded - December 2012
This paper focuses on technology transfer to the private sector, as well as to local and state governments, and the rationale for federal interest and involvement. Current federal efforts to promote technology transfer is also examined, as well as a look at the small business technology transfer program and patenting. At issue is whether incentives for technology transfer remain necessary, if additional legislative initiatives are needed to encourage increased technology transfer, or if the responsibility to use the available resources now rests with the private sector.
Other Categories: Capital & Cost, Federal/Industry Collaboration, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index - November 2012
This study, gathering data from more than 550 CEOs and senior manufacturing leaders in 2012, is part of a multi-year initiative to better understand the trends creating a hyper-competitive global manufacturing environment. The report examines the highly complex forces driving the future of manufacturing and many of the structural changes reshaping the global economy.  Overall, the study indicates that leading nations are making the paradigm shift towards prioritizing the development of talented and skilled citizens, who are the source of their competitive advantage, and benefits from their manufacturing infrastructures and ecosystems.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Education & Workforce, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

Leadership Wanted U.S. Public Opinions on Manufacturing - October 2012
This annual research program was created to provide a running view of the U.S. public’s perspectives on manufacturing to supplement the many other research reports and perspectives of economists, policymakers, business leaders and other stakeholders that have important points of view relevant to this discussion.
Other Categories: Education & Workforce, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

Report to the President on Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing - July 2012
The report was prepared by the 18-member steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP). It addresses needs in three broad categories: enabling innovation; securing the talent pipeline; improving the business climate. The recommendations include a call to establish a national network of manufacturing innovation institutes; an emphasis on investment in community college training of the advanced manufacturing workforce; an approach to evaluate platform manufacturing technologies for collaborative investment; a plan to reinvigorate the image of manufacturing in America; and proposals for trade, tax, regulatory, and energy policies that would level the global playing field for domestic manufacturers.
Other Categories: Innovation, Capital & Cost, Federal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation - June 2012
While macroeconomic uncertainties still abound, global manufacturers are using the low-growth environment to ramp up their innovation activity, increase efficiency, and add value to their offerings simultaneously. KPMG’s new report, Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation, examines an industry experiencing transformational shifts and the strategies manufacturing leaders are using to adapt to ongoing volatility, drive innovation, and position themselves for both top and bottom-line growth.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Supply Chain

Manufacturing and Logistics 2012 National Report - June 2012
State by state grades on areas such as productivity and innovation, human capital, global costs, diversification, venture capital, manufacturing, and logistics.
Other Categories: Capital & Cost, Innovation, Education & Workforce, Productivity

International Benchmarking of Countries’ Policies and Programs Supporting SME Manufacturers - June 2012
Provides numerous examples of best practice in one or more of ten competitor nations in the areas of: technology acceleration programs and practice; technology acceleration funding mechanisms; next generation manufacturing technical assistance; and connectors. The comparison matrix on p.6 is an indicative summary of what can be found throughout the report.
Other Categories: Innovation, Current State of MFG, Best Practices

Interactive Manufacturing Locator - May 2012
This report offers a comprehensive analysis of the metropolitan geography of U.S. manufacturing. Some of the main findings: 1)Metropolitan areas, especially large metropolitan areas and central metropolitan counties, contain the great majority of manufacturing jobs and nearly all very high technology manufacturing jobs, reflecting the advantages they provide to manufacturing in general and very high-technology manufacturing in particular. 2)U.S. metropolitan areas have become increasingly specialized in manufacturing since 1980, but they vary widely in their manufacturing activities and focuses. 3)Manufacturing in most metropolitan areas follows one or more of six broad patterns of industry cleaning
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

The Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth - April 2012
This report explains how challenges in talent, innovation, infrastructure, and energy consumption are what countries and companies in the manufacturing industry must prepare to face in the coming years. In order to stay competitive in the global market, companies need to find the highest skilled workers, breathe innovation and become more efficient in energy, production and logistics. The key to success in these areas will be collaboration between governments and private sectors. With competition increasing for so many resources and capabilities—and with the prosperity of nations hanging in the balance—policymakers will be actively looking for the right combination of trade, tax, labor, energy, education, science, technology, and industrial policy levers to generate the best possible future for their citizens
Other Categories: Innovation, Productivity

Greater Portland Export Plan: Metro Export Initiative - March 2012
The Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI) is a ground-up collaborative effort to help regional civic, business, and political leaders—with their states—create and implement customized Metropolitan Export Plans (MEPs). Greater Portland has a global reputation when it comes to advanced urban planning, leading edge sustainability, and a high quality of life for its citizens. Ninety percent of exports and export growth come from the top 10 exporting industries in the region including: manufacturing (computer and electronics, primary metals, machinery, and transportation), royalties, professional services, and travel and tourism.
Other Categories: Regulatory & Policy Recommendations

Emerging Global Trends in Advanced Manufacturing - March 2012
IDs emerging global trends in advanced manufacturing. The National Intelligence Manager for Science and Technology in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence requested they study the evolution of traditional manufacturing to advanced manufacturing. This report explored the answers to the following questions:o What are converging trends in advanced manufacturing across technology areas? o What are enabling factors that affect success in creating advanced manufacturing products, processes, and enterprises? o What are future scenarios across advanced manufacturing sectors in the technology areas of semiconductors, advanced materials, additive manufacturing, and synthetic biology?

Make An American Manufacturing Movement - December 2011
The key challenges and solutions outlined in Make: An American Manufacturing Movement appear below: 1.    Challenge: Fueling Investments in the Innovation and Production Economy from Start-up to Scale-up  Solution: Enact fiscal reform, transform tax laws, regulations and other structural costs to spur investment, ramp up production, capitalize growth companies, and create skilled jobs  2.    Challenge: Expanding U.S. Exports, Reducing the Trade Deficit, Increasing Market Access and Responding to Foreign Governments Protecting Domestic Producers Solution: Create fair and open global markets for U.S. goods and services to reduce the trade deficit and increase exports as a percentage of GDP 3.    Challenge: Harnessing the Power and Potential of American Talent to Win the Future Skills Race Solution: Prepare the Next Generation of Innovators, Researchers and Highly-Skilled Workers
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce,

Made in America Again, Why Manufacturing Will Return to the U.S. - August 2011
China's overwhelming manufacturing cost advantage over the U.S. is shrinking fast.  Within five years, a Boston Consultanting Group analysis concludes, rising Chinese wages, higher U.S. productivity, a weaker dollar, and other factors will virtually close the cost gap between the U.S. and China for many goods consumed in North America.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Capital & Cost, Global Competitiveness

Growth Through Innovation:  Building a Long-Term Strategy for Growth through Innovation - May 2011
History has amply demonstrated that innovation in the public and private sectors is the most important key to long-term U.S. prosperity and economic competitiveness. Yet in the United States today, innovation is at risk of stalling just at a time when rising international competition is on the upswing and the U.S. economy is still reeling from a deep recession.  Priorities for action start with turning three deficits—budget, investment/savings and trade—into surpluses.  This will require action by the public sector—to provide tax credits for innovation and more forward-thinking trade policies, for example—and the private sector, including businesses, universities and private research firms that reward education and job skills.
Other Categories: Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations