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Global Manufacturing

Since the bursting of the U.S. economic bubble in 2000, commentators have lamented the loss of 2 million American manufacturing jobs. Popular discussion of the crisis of American manufacturing has focused on identifying the presumed culprits (China, India, and other emerging economies with low factor costs) and prescribing the standard remedies (tariffs, import quotas, and other protectionist measures).

Two essential points are often missed in these analyses:

First, underpinning the disappearance of manufacturing jobs is the rising productivity of the American economy, which constitutes the foremost competitive advantage of U.S. companies pursuing international growth opportunities in the coming decade.

Second, declining employment in manufacturing is a truly global phenomenon that affects both advanced industrialized economies like the U.S. and emerging/developing economies. Indeed, since 1995 China (commonly portrayed as the boogeyman in the erosion of manufacturing in the West) has lost some 15 million manufacturing jobs—far more than the United States, Japan, or the West European countries.

GEC’s Global Manufacturing practice is committed to transforming these developments from competitive threats into international growth opportunities:

  • Specifying the means by which manufacturing companies can leverage the U.S. productivity revolution to achieve cost reductions and efficiencies in their own domestic operations

  • Helping U.S.-based companies to develop global manufacturing capabilities to bolster their international competitiveness and tap emerging growth opportunities in key foreign markets

  • Empowering small American manufacturers to exploit recent advances in process technologies to realize scale/scope economies and strengthen their competitive positioning in high-margin niche manufacturing