Global Competitiveness of the US Manufacturing

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-2-34-46

V. Varnavskii, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The article considers the current state and prospects of the US manufacturing sector. Economic and technologies reasons for weakening US positions in global manufacturing are discussed. It is shown that the USA is facing a long term global competitiveness problems in manufacturing, not just a cyclical downturn. A number of disturbing trends in USA manufacturing emerged well before the global crisis of 2008, pointing to its structural problems. During the recessions that began in 2001, and then with greater intensity in 2008, US manufacturing sector was dramatically affected, losing investment and millions of workplaces, facing greater import competition. Despite the rise in the value of US exports in recent decades, the US share of global exports of manufactured goods declined. Special attention is paid to the situation in the area of knowledge- and technology-intensive industries and advanced technology products. Mass migration of US manufacturing facilities to countries with lower taxes and wages has eroded the domestic capabilities of high-quality, cost-competitive production, damaging America’s ability to retain a lead in some hi-tech sectors. As shows in the article since 2000, the USA has fallen in many competitiveness and business world rankings, compared to other developed and developing countries. Anyway, the author’s conclusion is that, despite the existing problems, no sector of US economy creates more economic value or supports more additional jobs than manufacturing. The United States remains the world’s most productive large economy and the largest market for manufacturing and hi-tech goods and services, which stimulates innovation and investment.

Keywords: USA manufacturing, global competitiveness, economic growth, employment, productivity, knowledge- and technology-intensive industries, advanced technology products, export, R&D, government support

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For citation:
Varnavskii V. Global Competitiveness of the US Manufacturing . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 2, pp. 34-46.

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