Manufacturing has always been an integral part of American life. Paul Revere opened a foundry that produced bells and cannons following his famous midnight ride. Ford’s assembly line made cars affordable to the masses. And U.S. industrial might helped win World War II, when nearly half of private-sector employees worked in factories. That portion plunged after the war, thanks to automation and U.S. companies seeking lower costs overseas.
Here is the good news. The Wall Street Journal (April 8-9, 2023) writes: “Record spending on manufacturing construction heralds a made-in-the-U.S. rebound, stoked by green-energy incentives and concerns about foreign supply chains; this is here to stay.” New factories are rising in urban cores and rural fields, desert flats and surf towns. Much of the growth is coming in the high-tech fields of electric-vehicle batteries and semiconductors, national priorities backed by billions of dollars in government incentives. Other companies that once relied exclusively on lower-cost countries to manufacture eyeglasses and bicycles and bodybuilding supplements have found reasons to come home.