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产业基础不牢,美国制造业复兴让人担心!!!

时间:2020-03-05 09:56:15来源:东西智库阅读量:

译者注

这又是一篇值得学习的短文,作者是Michael Collins,长期从事美国工业行业中小企业的咨询服务,也是《The Rise of Inequality and the Decline of the Middle Class》的作者,可能因为长期接触美国机械工业各类企业,作者对美国制造业,尤其是基础机械工业的重要性的理解才会如此之深。

这篇文章不长,但是直接指出美国制造业并未实现真正的复苏,而且危机重重,因为大量的基础工业尚未实现再复兴,机床、模具、铸锻焊等领域持续下降,我们看看美国,再看看中国,突然发现两个世界上最大的国家竟然都有了同样的担心,中国的这些行业是在增长,但担心的是大而不强,美国则是失去强大后造成了创新滞缓,作者文章中用了大量的反问句,其中有一个问题很好,如果美国丢失了工业制造业,我们搞那些数字化有什么用呢?值得学习,值得警示。

如今,美国制造业似乎进展顺利。自2009年以来,已经创造了120万个新的制造业就业机会。压裂工业的发展大大降低了能源成本。美国失业率已低至3.8%,2018年重新安置了145,000个工作岗位。自大萧条以来,我们已经有10年的增长,过去一段时间中有许多文章暗示美国正处于制造业的复兴中。

那么,我们真的处于期待已久的制造业复兴中吗?对工作的未来有最准确的预测的机构是劳工统计局。他们对2026年的预测显示,美国制造业将失去736,000个制造业工作机会。我与BLS经济学家James Franklin和Kathleen Greene进行了交谈,他们做出了预测,而且对于制造业职位下降的结论毫不动摇。


某些行业,例如纺织,服装,家具,硬件,磁性介质,计算机,餐具,手动工具和电气设备,已经数十年持续下降,并且可能无法恢复。令我惊讶的是,美国的木制品和造纸业也在下降。

但是,这些下降的行业中最令人困惑和不安的是那些制造其他制成品的基础行业也出现了问题。这些行业包括机械加工,机床,模具加工,工具和模具(产品),半导体,锻造和铸造。在这些关键基础行业的持续下降,使得我们很难看到美国如何实现制造业复兴:

机床工业。这些是制造其他机器和产品的主机。麦克斯·荷兰(Max Holland)在他的书《机器停止时》中写到--“因此,任何国家工业健康的核心都是它的机床工业。机床工业的侵蚀与国内制造业的下降同时发生并不是巧合。”

1965年,美国机床制造商在全球机床市场上占有28%的份额,但如今,我们只在全球市场上占有5%的份额。根据美国人口普查局的在线交易数据显示,2018年,美国机床制造商出口42亿美元,进口86亿美元。这引出一个明显的问题:如果工业上使用的大多数机床都是进口的,制造业复兴是否会发生?

图:美国机床工业一直在下降

机械加工。机加工是一种用于金属,塑料,木材,陶瓷和复合材料的材料去除工艺。机加工对于数百个行业和成千上万种产品都是至关重要的,有些产品的尺寸很小,例如螺钉,有的则很大,例如大坝的涡轮轴承。机械加工对于所有工业产品都是绝对必要的,同时也用于消费产品中,比如制造从洗碗机和水龙头到手机和玩具的各种零件。但是,根据表1中显示的BLS统计数据,自2002年以来,机械加工工厂的数量减少了4874个(19.7%),就业人数减少了34444人(10.9%)。

工具制造。对制造至关重要的两类机械工业供应商是是工具制造商和模具制造商。他们往往拥有是技术娴熟的工匠,他们在生产制造过程中使用的夹具、固定装置、模具、切削工具和量具。要正式成为这两个类别中的从业者,都需要4至5年的时间和8,000至10,000小时的培训。自1980年代全面推行的全球化,亚洲国家已全力以赴开发更多的工具和模具,并拥有模具制造商和先进的机械师。但是,在美国。工具和模具制造商从1998年的162,032个下降到2010年的89,661个。表1显示出了进一步的下降:在2002年至2018年之间,工业模具行业损失了1,241个企业(42.7%)和5,968名工人(12%)。最大的问题是,由于现在在海外进行了大量的机械加工,是否有可能未来美国的机械加工完全依赖国外的供应呢?

图:美国工具行业的发展情况

铸造工厂。通过浇铸金属以制造铸件来制造零件的过程无处不在,并且被用于机械,汽车,管道,配件,铁路设备,阀门和泵等行业。铸件还用于从心脏瓣膜到航空母舰推进器的所有领域,也用于每个家庭的浴缸,水槽,固定装置和熔炉。1984年,有3,400个黑色和有色金属铸造厂雇用444,827名工人。截至2018年,现在有1,811个黑色金属和有色金属铸造厂和120,919名工人,占1984年劳动力的73%。这种下降的主要原因是,大多数美国公司现在都是从缺乏环境法规且劳动力便宜的低成本国家/地区购买铸件。铸造厂,机械车间,机械加工和机床的数量持续下降向我们提出了一个问题:“如果我们失去这些关键行业,我们将如何实现制造业复兴?”

图: 美国与世界铸件产量

锻造和冲压。由于进口渗透,美国的锻造和冲压行业的收缩始于1980年代。从1979年到1990年,美国有25%的锻造公司倒闭了。今天这个行业的萎缩还在继续。自2002年以来,该行业已失去416家企业和11,290名员工。航空航天,农业机械以及石油和天然气机械等行业的主要下游市场对锻件和冲压件的需求一直在下降。此外,钢铁和有色金属的世界价格一直在波动,这使得该行业很难获得稳定的采购合同价格。大多数预测表明,铸锻件行业的收入预计将持续下降。

半导体。半导体通常是硅晶片,用作制造微处理器的平台。它们用于电子,计算机和通信行业。半导体用于制造用于手机,iPod,GPS,太阳能电池,发光二极管和数百种其他消费产品的芯片。半导体绝对是电子和计算机行业的基础。

即使半导体和微处理器是在美国发明的,但半导体工业已经向海外转移了数十年。表1显示,自2002年以来,美国损失了792家机构(11.9%)和148,499名工人(28.4%)。最大的问题之一是,当半导体制造向海外转移时,研发随之而去。如果这种下降持续下去,美国就有失去在电子和计算机领域的创新优势的危险。

美国制造业正在复兴的新乐观主义很大一部分是由数字革命推动的,其中包括机器人技术,人工智能,3D打印,数据分析和其他数字技术的进步。数字革命具有巨大的潜力,但是经济数字表明,这还不是现实。实际上,美国劳工统计局(BLS)的经济数据表明,自2007年以来,生产率的平均增长仅为1.3%。此外,进口持续增长,2018年商品和服务贸易逆差达到8910亿美元,美国公司继续将工作和生产外包。但是BLS数据显示的最大问题表明38个制造业持续下降,其中10个中有9个是对制造过程至关重要的关键产业。如果我们最终失去了这些工业行业,数字革命将无济于事。

图:非农商业部门的生产力变化

一些经济学家认为这些行业的衰落是向后工业经济的自然发展,而不是引起警觉的。但是,如果我们希望有一天真正实现制造业复兴,我们将不得不解决造成制造业衰退的长期经济问题。真正的解决方案将需要减少贸易赤字,解决强势美元问题,停止汇率操纵,削弱其他国家的重商主义作弊,为美国基础设施计划提供资金,建立一支熟练的劳动力队伍,并以某种方式说服美国公司减少外包。特朗普总统最近的一轮关税使世界关注这些问题。也许我们可以利用这种势头,找到解决实际问题的政治意愿。

本文由机工战略陈琛翻译,黄伟东校对,转载请注明来源。附英文原文供读者参考。

Is US Manufacturing Losing Its Toolbox?

Despite optimists' hope for an American manufacturing Renaissance, many critical industries are actually in decline.

Michael Collins

Things seem to be going very well for American manufacturing these days. Since 2009, 1.2 million new manufacturing jobs have been created. The fracking industry has significantly lowered energy costs. Unemployment has reached a low of 3.8%, and 145,000 jobs were re-shored in 2018. We have had 10 years of growth since the Great Recession and many articles in the past year suggest the US is in a manufacturing renaissance.

So are we really in the long-hoped-for manufacturing renaissance? The agency with the most accurate predictions on the future of jobs is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their projection to 2026 shows that US manufacturing sector will lose 736,000 manufacturing jobs. I spoke with BLS economists James Franklin and Kathleen Greene, who made the projections, and they were unwavering in their conclusion for a decline of manufacturing jobs.

This prompted me to look deeper into the renaissance idea, so I investigated the changes in employment and establishments in 38 manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries from 2002 to 2018. I really hoped that the optimists were right about the manufacturing renaissance, but the data I collected in Table 1 (see link) shows some inconvenient truths—that 37 out of the 38 manufacturing industries are declining in terms of both number of plants and employees.

Some of the industries, such as textiles, apparel, furniture, hardware, magnetic media, computers, cutlery, hand tools, and electrical equipment, have been declining for many decades and are probably beyond recovery. And I was surprised to see that industries whose resource material is in the United States, like wood and paper, are also declining.

But the most perplexing of these declining industries are the ones that are fundamental to making other manufactured products. These are industries like machining, machine tools, mold making, tool and die, semiconductors, forging, and foundries. It is difficult to see how we can achieve a manufacturing renaissance while these critical industries continue to decline:

Machine tools. These are the master machines that make other machines and products. Max Holland wrote in his book When the Machines Stopped,

"Thus at the heart of the industrial health of any nation is its machine tool industry. It is no coincidence that the erosion of the machine tool industry parallels the decline of domestic manufacturing".

In 1965 American machine tool manufacturers had 28% of the world market for machine tools, but today we have 5% of the world market. In 2018, U.S. machine tool manufacturers exported $4.2 billion and imported $8.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau USA trade online. This begs an obvious question: Can a manufacturing renaissance occur if most of the machine tools used by industry are imported?

Machine Shops. Machining is a material removal process that is used on metal, plastics, wood, ceramics, and composites. Machining is essential to hundreds of industries and thousands of products from products as tiny as a machine screw and as large as a turbine bearing for a dam. Machining is absolutely essential for all industrial products but is also used in consumer products to make parts for everything from dishwashers and faucets to cellphones and toys. But, according to BLS statistics shown in Table 1, since 2002 the number of machine shops has decreased by 4874 shops (19.7%) and employment has decreased by 34,444 people (10.9%).

Machining. Two classes of machinists that are critical to manufacturing are tool and die makers and mold makers. They are the highly skilled artisans that make the jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, cutting tools, and gauges used in the manufacturing process. To become a journeyman in either category requires four to five years and 8,000 to 10,000 hours of training. Since globalization began in the 1980s, Asian countries have gone all out to develop more tool and die, mold makers, and advanced machinists. In the U.S.. however, tool and die makers have declined from 162,032 in 1998 to 89,661 in 2010. Table 1 shows further decline: Industrial mold companies lost 1,241 shops (42.7%) and 5,968 workers (12%) between 2002 and 2018. The big question is, since a good deal of machining is now done overseas, is it possible to support all of the industries and companies who need machined products in the U.S by only using foreign suppliers?

Foundries. The process of making parts by pouring metal to make a casting is ubiquitous and is used in the machinery, automotive, pipe, fitting, railroad equipment, valve, and pump industries. Castings are also used in everything from heart valves to aircraft carrier propellers and in every home for bathtubs, sinks, fixtures, and furnaces. In 1984, there were 3,400 ferrous and nonferrous foundries employing 444,827 workers. As of 2018, there are now 1,811 ferrous and nonferrous foundries and 120,919 workers, which is a loss of 73% of the 1984 workforce. The primary driver of this decline is that most American corporations now buy their castings from low-cost countries where there are no environmental regulations and labor is cheap. The numbers for foundries, machine shops, machining and machine tools continue to decline and beg the question of “How can we ever have a manufacturing renaissance if we lose these critical industries?”

Forging and Stamping. The contraction of the forging and stamping industry began in the 1980s because of import penetration. From 1979 to 1990, 25% of the forging companies in the U.S. went out of business. The contraction of this industry goes on today. Since 2002, this industry has lost 416 establishments and 11,290 employees. The demand for forging and stampings has been declining by the industry's major downstream markets, which include aerospace, agricultural machinery and oil and gas machinery. Additionally, the world prices of steel, and nonferrous metals have been volatile, making it hard for the industry to secure stable purchasing contracts. Most projections show that the forging and stamping industry revenue is expected to continue to decline.

Semiconductors. Semiconductors are usually silicon wafers that are used as a platform to make microprocessors. They are used in the electronics, computer, and communication industries. Semiconductors are used to make chips that are used in cellphones, iPods, GPS, solar cells, light emitting diodes, and hundreds of other consumer products. Semiconductors are absolutely fundamental to the electronics and computer industries.

Even though the semiconductor and microprocessor were invented in the United States, the semiconductor industry has been moving offshore for decades.  Table 1 shows that America has lost 792 establishments (11.9%) and 148,499 workers (28.4%) since 2002. One of the big problems is that when the manufacture of semiconductors moves overseas, research and development goes with it. If the decline continues the U.S. is in danger of losing its innovative edge in electronics and computers.

A strong part of the new optimism that US manufacturing is in a renaissance is driven by digital revolution that includes progress in robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, data analytics, and other digital advances. The digital revolution has great potential, but economic numbers show that it is not yet a reality. In fact, economic data from the BLS shows that since 2007, productivity growth has averaged only 1.3% growth. In addition, imports keep growing, the trade deficit for goods and services reached $891 billion in 2018, and American corporations continue to outsource jobs and production. But the biggest problem as shown in BLS data shows that 38 manufacturing industries continue to decline and nine of 10 of these industries are the critical industries that are fundamental to the manufacturing process. The digital revolution is not going to help if we eventually lose the industry.

Some economists view the decline of these industries as the natural progression towards a post-industrial economy and are not a cause for alarm. But if we want to someday have a real manufacturing renaissance, we are going to have to address the long-term economic problems causing the decline of our manufacturing industries. The real solutions will require reducing the trade deficit, addressing the strong dollar problem, stopping currency manipulation, stopping the mercantilist cheating by China, funding a U.S. infrastructure initiative, creating a skilled workforce, and somehow convincing American corporations that they should reduce outsourcing. President Trump now has the world's attention on these issues with his latest round of tariffs. Perhaps we might build on this momentum and find the political will to address the real problems.

Michael Collins is the author of The Rise of Inequality and the Decline of the Middle Class.

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产业基础不牢,美国制造业复兴让人担心!!!

首页 >  资讯 > 行业动态 > 行业分析03-05

译者注

这又是一篇值得学习的短文,作者是Michael Collins,长期从事美国工业行业中小企业的咨询服务,也是《The Rise of Inequality and the Decline of the Middle Class》的作者,可能因为长期接触美国机械工业各类企业,作者对美国制造业,尤其是基础机械工业的重要性的理解才会如此之深。

这篇文章不长,但是直接指出美国制造业并未实现真正的复苏,而且危机重重,因为大量的基础工业尚未实现再复兴,机床、模具、铸锻焊等领域持续下降,我们看看美国,再看看中国,突然发现两个世界上最大的国家竟然都有了同样的担心,中国的这些行业是在增长,但担心的是大而不强,美国则是失去强大后造成了创新滞缓,作者文章中用了大量的反问句,其中有一个问题很好,如果美国丢失了工业制造业,我们搞那些数字化有什么用呢?值得学习,值得警示。

如今,美国制造业似乎进展顺利。自2009年以来,已经创造了120万个新的制造业就业机会。压裂工业的发展大大降低了能源成本。美国失业率已低至3.8%,2018年重新安置了145,000个工作岗位。自大萧条以来,我们已经有10年的增长,过去一段时间中有许多文章暗示美国正处于制造业的复兴中。

那么,我们真的处于期待已久的制造业复兴中吗?对工作的未来有最准确的预测的机构是劳工统计局。他们对2026年的预测显示,美国制造业将失去736,000个制造业工作机会。我与BLS经济学家James Franklin和Kathleen Greene进行了交谈,他们做出了预测,而且对于制造业职位下降的结论毫不动摇。


某些行业,例如纺织,服装,家具,硬件,磁性介质,计算机,餐具,手动工具和电气设备,已经数十年持续下降,并且可能无法恢复。令我惊讶的是,美国的木制品和造纸业也在下降。

但是,这些下降的行业中最令人困惑和不安的是那些制造其他制成品的基础行业也出现了问题。这些行业包括机械加工,机床,模具加工,工具和模具(产品),半导体,锻造和铸造。在这些关键基础行业的持续下降,使得我们很难看到美国如何实现制造业复兴:

机床工业。这些是制造其他机器和产品的主机。麦克斯·荷兰(Max Holland)在他的书《机器停止时》中写到--“因此,任何国家工业健康的核心都是它的机床工业。机床工业的侵蚀与国内制造业的下降同时发生并不是巧合。”

1965年,美国机床制造商在全球机床市场上占有28%的份额,但如今,我们只在全球市场上占有5%的份额。根据美国人口普查局的在线交易数据显示,2018年,美国机床制造商出口42亿美元,进口86亿美元。这引出一个明显的问题:如果工业上使用的大多数机床都是进口的,制造业复兴是否会发生?

图:美国机床工业一直在下降

机械加工。机加工是一种用于金属,塑料,木材,陶瓷和复合材料的材料去除工艺。机加工对于数百个行业和成千上万种产品都是至关重要的,有些产品的尺寸很小,例如螺钉,有的则很大,例如大坝的涡轮轴承。机械加工对于所有工业产品都是绝对必要的,同时也用于消费产品中,比如制造从洗碗机和水龙头到手机和玩具的各种零件。但是,根据表1中显示的BLS统计数据,自2002年以来,机械加工工厂的数量减少了4874个(19.7%),就业人数减少了34444人(10.9%)。

工具制造。对制造至关重要的两类机械工业供应商是是工具制造商和模具制造商。他们往往拥有是技术娴熟的工匠,他们在生产制造过程中使用的夹具、固定装置、模具、切削工具和量具。要正式成为这两个类别中的从业者,都需要4至5年的时间和8,000至10,000小时的培训。自1980年代全面推行的全球化,亚洲国家已全力以赴开发更多的工具和模具,并拥有模具制造商和先进的机械师。但是,在美国。工具和模具制造商从1998年的162,032个下降到2010年的89,661个。表1显示出了进一步的下降:在2002年至2018年之间,工业模具行业损失了1,241个企业(42.7%)和5,968名工人(12%)。最大的问题是,由于现在在海外进行了大量的机械加工,是否有可能未来美国的机械加工完全依赖国外的供应呢?

图:美国工具行业的发展情况

铸造工厂。通过浇铸金属以制造铸件来制造零件的过程无处不在,并且被用于机械,汽车,管道,配件,铁路设备,阀门和泵等行业。铸件还用于从心脏瓣膜到航空母舰推进器的所有领域,也用于每个家庭的浴缸,水槽,固定装置和熔炉。1984年,有3,400个黑色和有色金属铸造厂雇用444,827名工人。截至2018年,现在有1,811个黑色金属和有色金属铸造厂和120,919名工人,占1984年劳动力的73%。这种下降的主要原因是,大多数美国公司现在都是从缺乏环境法规且劳动力便宜的低成本国家/地区购买铸件。铸造厂,机械车间,机械加工和机床的数量持续下降向我们提出了一个问题:“如果我们失去这些关键行业,我们将如何实现制造业复兴?”

图: 美国与世界铸件产量

锻造和冲压。由于进口渗透,美国的锻造和冲压行业的收缩始于1980年代。从1979年到1990年,美国有25%的锻造公司倒闭了。今天这个行业的萎缩还在继续。自2002年以来,该行业已失去416家企业和11,290名员工。航空航天,农业机械以及石油和天然气机械等行业的主要下游市场对锻件和冲压件的需求一直在下降。此外,钢铁和有色金属的世界价格一直在波动,这使得该行业很难获得稳定的采购合同价格。大多数预测表明,铸锻件行业的收入预计将持续下降。

半导体。半导体通常是硅晶片,用作制造微处理器的平台。它们用于电子,计算机和通信行业。半导体用于制造用于手机,iPod,GPS,太阳能电池,发光二极管和数百种其他消费产品的芯片。半导体绝对是电子和计算机行业的基础。

即使半导体和微处理器是在美国发明的,但半导体工业已经向海外转移了数十年。表1显示,自2002年以来,美国损失了792家机构(11.9%)和148,499名工人(28.4%)。最大的问题之一是,当半导体制造向海外转移时,研发随之而去。如果这种下降持续下去,美国就有失去在电子和计算机领域的创新优势的危险。

美国制造业正在复兴的新乐观主义很大一部分是由数字革命推动的,其中包括机器人技术,人工智能,3D打印,数据分析和其他数字技术的进步。数字革命具有巨大的潜力,但是经济数字表明,这还不是现实。实际上,美国劳工统计局(BLS)的经济数据表明,自2007年以来,生产率的平均增长仅为1.3%。此外,进口持续增长,2018年商品和服务贸易逆差达到8910亿美元,美国公司继续将工作和生产外包。但是BLS数据显示的最大问题表明38个制造业持续下降,其中10个中有9个是对制造过程至关重要的关键产业。如果我们最终失去了这些工业行业,数字革命将无济于事。

图:非农商业部门的生产力变化

一些经济学家认为这些行业的衰落是向后工业经济的自然发展,而不是引起警觉的。但是,如果我们希望有一天真正实现制造业复兴,我们将不得不解决造成制造业衰退的长期经济问题。真正的解决方案将需要减少贸易赤字,解决强势美元问题,停止汇率操纵,削弱其他国家的重商主义作弊,为美国基础设施计划提供资金,建立一支熟练的劳动力队伍,并以某种方式说服美国公司减少外包。特朗普总统最近的一轮关税使世界关注这些问题。也许我们可以利用这种势头,找到解决实际问题的政治意愿。

本文由机工战略陈琛翻译,黄伟东校对,转载请注明来源。附英文原文供读者参考。

Is US Manufacturing Losing Its Toolbox?

Despite optimists' hope for an American manufacturing Renaissance, many critical industries are actually in decline.

Michael Collins

Things seem to be going very well for American manufacturing these days. Since 2009, 1.2 million new manufacturing jobs have been created. The fracking industry has significantly lowered energy costs. Unemployment has reached a low of 3.8%, and 145,000 jobs were re-shored in 2018. We have had 10 years of growth since the Great Recession and many articles in the past year suggest the US is in a manufacturing renaissance.

So are we really in the long-hoped-for manufacturing renaissance? The agency with the most accurate predictions on the future of jobs is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their projection to 2026 shows that US manufacturing sector will lose 736,000 manufacturing jobs. I spoke with BLS economists James Franklin and Kathleen Greene, who made the projections, and they were unwavering in their conclusion for a decline of manufacturing jobs.

This prompted me to look deeper into the renaissance idea, so I investigated the changes in employment and establishments in 38 manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries from 2002 to 2018. I really hoped that the optimists were right about the manufacturing renaissance, but the data I collected in Table 1 (see link) shows some inconvenient truths—that 37 out of the 38 manufacturing industries are declining in terms of both number of plants and employees.

Some of the industries, such as textiles, apparel, furniture, hardware, magnetic media, computers, cutlery, hand tools, and electrical equipment, have been declining for many decades and are probably beyond recovery. And I was surprised to see that industries whose resource material is in the United States, like wood and paper, are also declining.

But the most perplexing of these declining industries are the ones that are fundamental to making other manufactured products. These are industries like machining, machine tools, mold making, tool and die, semiconductors, forging, and foundries. It is difficult to see how we can achieve a manufacturing renaissance while these critical industries continue to decline:

Machine tools. These are the master machines that make other machines and products. Max Holland wrote in his book When the Machines Stopped,

"Thus at the heart of the industrial health of any nation is its machine tool industry. It is no coincidence that the erosion of the machine tool industry parallels the decline of domestic manufacturing".

In 1965 American machine tool manufacturers had 28% of the world market for machine tools, but today we have 5% of the world market. In 2018, U.S. machine tool manufacturers exported $4.2 billion and imported $8.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau USA trade online. This begs an obvious question: Can a manufacturing renaissance occur if most of the machine tools used by industry are imported?

Machine Shops. Machining is a material removal process that is used on metal, plastics, wood, ceramics, and composites. Machining is essential to hundreds of industries and thousands of products from products as tiny as a machine screw and as large as a turbine bearing for a dam. Machining is absolutely essential for all industrial products but is also used in consumer products to make parts for everything from dishwashers and faucets to cellphones and toys. But, according to BLS statistics shown in Table 1, since 2002 the number of machine shops has decreased by 4874 shops (19.7%) and employment has decreased by 34,444 people (10.9%).

Machining. Two classes of machinists that are critical to manufacturing are tool and die makers and mold makers. They are the highly skilled artisans that make the jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, cutting tools, and gauges used in the manufacturing process. To become a journeyman in either category requires four to five years and 8,000 to 10,000 hours of training. Since globalization began in the 1980s, Asian countries have gone all out to develop more tool and die, mold makers, and advanced machinists. In the U.S.. however, tool and die makers have declined from 162,032 in 1998 to 89,661 in 2010. Table 1 shows further decline: Industrial mold companies lost 1,241 shops (42.7%) and 5,968 workers (12%) between 2002 and 2018. The big question is, since a good deal of machining is now done overseas, is it possible to support all of the industries and companies who need machined products in the U.S by only using foreign suppliers?

Foundries. The process of making parts by pouring metal to make a casting is ubiquitous and is used in the machinery, automotive, pipe, fitting, railroad equipment, valve, and pump industries. Castings are also used in everything from heart valves to aircraft carrier propellers and in every home for bathtubs, sinks, fixtures, and furnaces. In 1984, there were 3,400 ferrous and nonferrous foundries employing 444,827 workers. As of 2018, there are now 1,811 ferrous and nonferrous foundries and 120,919 workers, which is a loss of 73% of the 1984 workforce. The primary driver of this decline is that most American corporations now buy their castings from low-cost countries where there are no environmental regulations and labor is cheap. The numbers for foundries, machine shops, machining and machine tools continue to decline and beg the question of “How can we ever have a manufacturing renaissance if we lose these critical industries?”

Forging and Stamping. The contraction of the forging and stamping industry began in the 1980s because of import penetration. From 1979 to 1990, 25% of the forging companies in the U.S. went out of business. The contraction of this industry goes on today. Since 2002, this industry has lost 416 establishments and 11,290 employees. The demand for forging and stampings has been declining by the industry's major downstream markets, which include aerospace, agricultural machinery and oil and gas machinery. Additionally, the world prices of steel, and nonferrous metals have been volatile, making it hard for the industry to secure stable purchasing contracts. Most projections show that the forging and stamping industry revenue is expected to continue to decline.

Semiconductors. Semiconductors are usually silicon wafers that are used as a platform to make microprocessors. They are used in the electronics, computer, and communication industries. Semiconductors are used to make chips that are used in cellphones, iPods, GPS, solar cells, light emitting diodes, and hundreds of other consumer products. Semiconductors are absolutely fundamental to the electronics and computer industries.

Even though the semiconductor and microprocessor were invented in the United States, the semiconductor industry has been moving offshore for decades.  Table 1 shows that America has lost 792 establishments (11.9%) and 148,499 workers (28.4%) since 2002. One of the big problems is that when the manufacture of semiconductors moves overseas, research and development goes with it. If the decline continues the U.S. is in danger of losing its innovative edge in electronics and computers.

A strong part of the new optimism that US manufacturing is in a renaissance is driven by digital revolution that includes progress in robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, data analytics, and other digital advances. The digital revolution has great potential, but economic numbers show that it is not yet a reality. In fact, economic data from the BLS shows that since 2007, productivity growth has averaged only 1.3% growth. In addition, imports keep growing, the trade deficit for goods and services reached $891 billion in 2018, and American corporations continue to outsource jobs and production. But the biggest problem as shown in BLS data shows that 38 manufacturing industries continue to decline and nine of 10 of these industries are the critical industries that are fundamental to the manufacturing process. The digital revolution is not going to help if we eventually lose the industry.

Some economists view the decline of these industries as the natural progression towards a post-industrial economy and are not a cause for alarm. But if we want to someday have a real manufacturing renaissance, we are going to have to address the long-term economic problems causing the decline of our manufacturing industries. The real solutions will require reducing the trade deficit, addressing the strong dollar problem, stopping currency manipulation, stopping the mercantilist cheating by China, funding a U.S. infrastructure initiative, creating a skilled workforce, and somehow convincing American corporations that they should reduce outsourcing. President Trump now has the world's attention on these issues with his latest round of tariffs. Perhaps we might build on this momentum and find the political will to address the real problems.

Michael Collins is the author of The Rise of Inequality and the Decline of the Middle Class.

来源:中国智能机械云平台大数据研究院

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