Think Again: Tax less, export more, educate technically

Council on Competitiveness recommendations also suggests leveraging R&D, and promoting energy and efficiency initiatives.


The U.S. can lead the world in 21st century advanced manufacturing, at the heart of long-term U.S. productivity and prosperity. How? The U.S. Council on Competitiveness last month released a report and series of recommendations called “Make: An American Manufacturing Movement,” a strategy map, to Congress, the White House, and 50 governors.

Advice was collected from hundreds of Deloitte interviews over nearly three years and dozens of dialogues where Council members and national thought leaders discussed manufacturing topics.

Manufacturing has a higher multiplier effect on the economy than any other sector, according to the report, “Make: An American Manufacturing Movement.” Courtesy: U.S. Council on Competitiveness and U.S. Department of Commerce

The priority recommendations from the five challenges are:

1. Congress should permanently replace the current worldwide double taxation system with a territorial tax system to facilitate the repatriation of earnings and restructure the corporate tax code to increase investment, stimulate production at scale, and neutralize sovereign tax incentive investment packages.

2. Congress, the administration, and industry should intensify efforts to support the president’s goal to double exports from $1.8 to $3.6 trillion and reduce the trade deficit by more than 50 percent.

3. Federal, state, and local governments—along with high-schools, universities, community colleges, national laboratories, and industry—should prioritize Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and push for greater integration of community colleges in the innovation pipeline.

4. Congress and the administration should leverage R&D investments across the federal research enterprise to solve challenges in sustainable smart manufacturing systems and to ensure a dynamic discovery and innovation pipeline.

5. Congress and the administration should drive the private sector to develop and utilize all sources of energy on a market basis while enforcing efficiency standards to ensure a sustainable supply of energy to manufacturers.

The Joint-Strike Fighter image shows how today’s manufacturing is safe, smart, sustainable, and surging, according to the report, “Make: An American Manufacturing Movement.” Courtesy: U.S. Council on Competitiveness and Lockheed Martin

The report and recommendations, about 60 pages in total, have many more details, created under guidance of Council Chairman and Deere & Company Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen and a steering committee of 60 CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders, and laboratory directors.

In part, the report says, “Smart manufacturing is a growth engine for jobs and a sustainable economy. A $50 billion investment in retooling factories would generate up to $120 billion in revenue resulting from increased demand for products, according to a study by the Apollo Alliance, a business-labor coalition. Manufacturers would achieve higher levels of business performance, turn resources into assets, and discover unique opportunities for competitiveness.”

That’s important, the report says, since the “potential for manufacturing process innovation is enormous. Smart manufacturing is an ongoing effort to integrate many of the trends described in this strategy—such as HPC, cloud computing, data mining, and user-driven customization—across global production enterprises and supply networks. By marrying these technological capabilities with human insight, smart manufacturing promises to revolutionize the way production is organized and delivered. As manufacturing intelligence of this kind grows, it will inspire innovations in processes and products that will unleash new, disruptive capabilities—such as a $3,000 automobile or a $300 personal computer.”

Further, “Smart manufacturing enables a coordinated and performance-oriented enterprise that responds quickly to the customer, minimizes energy and material use, maximizes health and safety, and generates innovation. Today, smart tools and systems that generate and analyze greater amounts of data are being used to plan, design, build, operate, and manage industrial facilities and networks.” Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media

Hardly have to think again about that. Seems like a no-brainer to me. 


- Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.