With implications for Ohio manufacturers, a new study released Wednesday by the United States Business and Industry Council said that imports continue to capture more of the U.S. market for high-value manufactured goods.
“The analysis strongly indicates that, contrary to widespread optimism about an American industrial renaissance, domestic manufacturing’s highest value sectors keep falling behind foreign-based rivals,” said the report and survey by Alan Tonelson, research fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based organization.
Tonelson, a frequent visitor to Northeast Ohio manufacturers, said Ohio manufacturers should be interested in the report’s findings. The USBIC conducts economic research and lobbies on behalf of family owned and closely held manufacturers.
The increase in import penetration hurts U.S. job growth and the economy, the organization said.
“Despite claims by President Obama and leading analysts about an historic comeback for American industry and a wave of ‘insourcing,’ the share of U.S. markets for advanced manufactured goods controlled by imports reached another all-time high in 2011,” the report said in its introduction.
The study said its conclusions carry major implications for U.S. policies regarding manufacturing, international trade and the overall economy.
“USBIC’s findings are all the more troubling because [they] focus not on labor-intensive industries that largely vanished from American shores decades ago but on the capital-and-technology-intensive sectors rightly seen by nearly all U.S. leaders and commentators as keys to maintaining national prosperity, technological leadership and national security,” the report said.
The report looked at 106 manufacturing sectors.
The findings showed from 1997 through 2011, just eight of the 106 sectors gained share against import competition. Those sectors were semiconductor machinery; saw mill products; paperboard mill products; motor vehicle stamping operations; transformer, inductor and coil manufacturing; electron tubes; computer storage devices, and heavy duty trucks and chassis.
“The 98 industries that lost shares of their home market between 1997 and 2011 include an especially long list of America’s economic and technological crown jewels, including semiconductors; electro-medical apparatus; pharmaceuticals” and others, the report said.
“No thinking executive or commentator would describe a company losing market share as a successful, much less promising, business. By the same token, industries losing market share can’t be seen as winners, either,” Tonelson wrote.
The report is online at http://americaneconomicalert.org/USBICImportPenetrationReport2012.pdf .
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.