U.S. manufacturing remains key point of debate as November elections loom

September 7, 2012

The state of U.S. manufacturing has been debated by both political parties in the U.S., as President Obama has said that the sector has recovered from drops attributed to the Great Recession, while his opponents have noted that the industry may be in more trouble than he is leading on.

The president spoke to how the sector has gained a significant number of jobs in the past years, after it recovered from the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, and he outlined how it supported the rest of the economy during this period, according to Industry Week.

Though the fact that the sector has recovered greatly since the beginning of the financial crisis is beyond the point of debate, the overall industry is still not faring as well as some may have hoped.

According to the news outlet, Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, noted that his sector appreciates the confidence that Obama has shown in regard to manufacturing, but industry experts remain wary of recent reports that have shown a slight drop in the indices related to activity and demand.

"I’m glad the President believes in manufacturing, but this jobs report shows just how much work must be done to create those jobs," Paul said. "We are headed in the wrong direction, at least temporarily, after 31 pretty good months for manufacturing."

He noted that both parties have spoken to possible solutions to keeping the sector moving forward and the role that Congress can play in the future of U.S. manufacturing.

"We look forward to hearing exactly what Mitt Romney and President Obama propose to do to strengthen manufacturing in the weeks ahead. And, we call on Congress to pass legislation to deter China’s currency manipulation, which has contributed to the loss of nearly 3 million American jobs over the past decade," Paul said, according to Industry Week.

Despite the intense competition between the candidates, CNN fact-checked the claims made by Obama during his acceptance of his party's nomination and noted that manufacturing in the U.S. actually did experience quite the uptick in the past several years.

According to the news outlet, the adjustment of business strategy and a return of activity from abroad helped to counter some of the losses experienced by the sector, but there is much room for improvement.