I was very disappointed to read in Doug Bartholomew's "A House Divided" that "only a single major machine-tool manufacturer... is left in the U.S. out of a once vibrant, thriving and innovative industry."
That is flat wrong. The 350 members of our association all produce machine tools and related products in the U.S. I can assure you that they are still vibrant, thriving and innovative. Last year they produced just under $3 billion worth of equipment in the U.S.
U.S. manufacturing is certainly undergoing a significant transition, but it is not dying. Real U.S. manufacturing output continues to be strong and manufacturing productivity growth exceeds every expectation. Because the cost of advanced manufacturing technology has gone up only 11% in the past ten years, American manufacturers are being provided with the tools to lower costs, improve quality and compete in the global marketplace.
The sad fact is that American manufacturers do not compete on a level playing field. Handicapped by an inefficient tax system, runaway legal bills, uncontrolled health care and benefit costs and unfair foreign currency manipulation, U.S. manufacturers face serious challenges.
To survive they will need everyone to exhibit true "leadership in manufacturing," not alarmist cries about a "civil war."
John B. Byrd III
AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology