From the Shop Floor — The Week in Manufacturing (11/17/2012)

Manufacturing.net says China’s stunning growth, especially in the manufacturing sector, may be over but its economy continues to recover — which is good news for U.S. manufacturers like me.

Kelly Heinrich, president of the Global Freedom Center, says that someone  is paying a dear price for all those cheap, Chinese-made blouses, blenders and toys.

From the intellectual property and copyright front,  police in China have arrested 73 people for manufacturing and selling over one million fake luxury bags and other pieces of luggage.

This one’s about the U.K., but the lessons apply here.  Design Week editor Angus Montgomery gets up on the soapbox this week about the on-going disconnect between design and manufacturing in his home country.

Writing in the Washington Post blog, Neil Irwin says that while American manufacturing may be coming back, American manufacturing jobs aren’t.

Her’s another drum we’ve been beating for years now:  in Industry Market Trends, Ilya Leybovich claims that the job skills gap in U.S. manufacturing is both an education problem and a branding one.

According to a recent report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness says that the U.S. will slip from third to fifth in global manufacturing competitiveness, losing ground to the blossoming economies in both Brazil and India.

The whole skills gap thing was the topic of conversation as manufacturers and educators met for an open forum in Eastern Michigan this week.

It’s a long way from actually making an impact, but at least it’s a start: a coalition was announced this week charged with promoting urban manufacturing and fostering job creation throughout the U.S.

In the Business Spectator, Alan Kohler discusses American’s growing energy independence and what that maymean to both global economics and global politics.

How’s this for irony, not to mention the twisted, convoluted and often circuitous nature of global economics: one of the hottest new exports for America these days is the Toyota Venza crossover — made in Georgetown, Kentucky.

It shoud come as no surprise that according to the Boston Consulting Group, an overwhelming number of Americans would rather buy U.S. made products than those made in China.  But what’s fascinating is that the majority of Chinese feel much the same way about products made in this country.

Speaking of which, the Made in America Store has been invited to become part of Amazon.com.

At the NAFTA 20 Conference (has it really been 20 years already?) political and economic leaders voiced their desire to further integration and deepen ties with all member nations in the still occasionally controversial trade agreement.

Business Week tells us that U.S. industrial production dropped .4% as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Blogger Chris Mayer, writing in the liberterian newletter The Daily Reckoning, talks about the revivial of U.S. manufacturing.

China Daily says China’s aviation industry is ready for take-off, and is set to challenge the two undisputed industry leaders, Boeing and Airbus.

Withe their eyes on the fiscal cliff, the USA Today reports that many American business leaders are seeking a more competitive environoment, which if you read the article really just means they want to pay less taxes  –with, of course, no cutbacks in public services, job training programs or infrastructure support.  Don’t get me started.

 

 

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