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House Hears Testimony On Needed Support For Manufacturing Industry

The Committee on Science and Technology is holding a hearing today on the future of manufacturing and the role the federal government should play going forward in supporting manufacturing innovation.

According the committee the hearing will feature several witnesses from major manufacturers, as well as policy think tanks. Scheduled to appear are Dr. Susan Smyth, director of manufacturing, GM R&D, General Motors Company; Dr. Len Sauers, VP, Global Sustainability, Procter & Gamble; Debtosh Chakrabarti, president and COO, PMC Group Inc. ; Dr. Mark Tuominen, director, National Nanomanufacturing Network; Wayne Crews, VP for Policy and Director of Technology Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute.

According to the committee the role of manufacturing, which generated $1.64 trillion worth of good in 2008, is vital to future economic stability. According to the Manufacturing Institute, the manufacturing sector accounted for nearly 57 percent of total U.S. exports in 2008, and employed nearly 12 million people last year.

But a decline in manufacturing has economic advisors and experts concerned given that manufacturing represented just 12 percent of GDP last year. It was in the 30 percent range back in the 1950s.

In addition, between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. global market share of manufactured exports fell from 19 percent to 14 percent. During that same period, the Chinese share of global exports rose from 7 percent to 17 percent.

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