By Bob Tita at the WSJ:
After a long decline, manufacturing is returning to the U.S. Now it may be time for U.S. policy makers to give it an extra boost.
The U.S. shed 5.7 million manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010more than a third of the manufacturing workforceas companies abandoned plants and workers in favor of low-cost foreign countries. But in recent years, manufacturing employment has grown slightly as the auto industry rebounded and domestic plants became more cost-competitive with those of other countries where manufacturing expenses have escalated because of higher wages.
Now researchers, politicians and business leaders are coming forward with strategies to accelerate job gains and investment in manufacturing. Their ideas range from pruning regulations that raise the cost and effort of running a manufacturing operation to imposing a value-added tax on imports to beefing up training programs so companies have an easier time finding skilled workers.