US Remains World’s Leading Manufacturer

“The United States remains by far the world’s leading manufacturer by value of goods produced. It hit a record $1.6 trillion in 2007 – nearly double the $811 billion of 1987. For every $1 of value produced in China factories, the United States generates $2.50.”


Interesting Associated Press article about US manufacturing prowess. Far from being the disaster that its so often thought of, the United States remains a global superpower in manufacturing and industrial design.

How is that possible, given that so much stuff comes from China? Its mostly the easy-to-make, low margin stuff. The higher end, much more profitable stuff is made in the USA.

Indeed, the stat about the US being the world’s leading manufacturer looks not to total unit volume, but to value. If we looked at it by profitability, it would be even more lopsided.


“So what is made in the U.S.A. these days?

The United States sold more than $200 billion worth of aircraft, missiles and space-related equipment in 2007, and $80 billion worth of autos and auto parts. Deere, best known for its bright green and yellow tractors, sold $16.5 billion worth of farming equipment last year, much of it to the rest of the world.

Then there are energy products like gas turbines for power plants made by General Electric, computer chips from Intel and fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. Household names like GE, General Motors, International Business Machines, Boeing and Hewlett-Packard are among the largest manufacturers by revenue.

Several trends have emerged over the decades:

The United States makes things that other countries cannot. Today, “Made in U.S.A.” is more likely to be stamped on heavy equipment or the circuits that go inside other products than the televisions, toys, clothes and other items found on store shelves.

U.S. companies have shifted toward high-end manufacturing as the production of low-value goods has moved overseas. This has resulted in lower prices for shoppers and higher profits for companies…

Thirty years ago, U.S. producers made 80 percent of what the country consumed, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an industry trade group. Now it is about 65 percent.”

Fascinating stuff . . .


Is anything made in the U.S.A. anymore? You’d be surprised
Stephen Manning
Associated Press, February 20, 2009

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