Manufacturing Buzz
February 2, 2012
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'The State of the Economy'
"It can be a bit challenging to believe that 2012 will be better than 2011..."
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Super Bowl Ads: The Reinvented Toyota Camry... and a Blender That Plays Lionel Richie
"Which automakers will hit paydirt with their high-priced Super Bowl ads, and which automakers will fumble at the goal line?..."
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Are Plant Managers Obsolete?
"The culprits of this decline are our old friends 'automation' and 'offshoring'..."
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Obama Plucks From Pickens Plan
" incentives to companies that transition their trucking fleets to run on natural gas..."
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A Measure of Reality
"It is always unwise to bet against the Federal Reserve Board..."
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Lean Mfg. in Machining?
"We're seeking manufacturers' input on a general discussion about Lean manufacturing practices..."
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Super Bowl Ads: Ferris Bueller Takes Another Day Off... in his Honda CR-V
"This week, Honda unveiled an extended preview version..."
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Warm Winter Pushes Exxon Toward Natural Gas Liquids
"The unseasonably warm winter may be good for consumers' wallets, but it's bad news for Exxon Mobil and other major natural gas producers..."
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Business Performance Improved in Q4
"...even though certain metrics remain negative from a year-over-year perspective, it's clear many companies are working toward a more positive business profile..."
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If elected (or re-elected), which presidential candidate would provide the most support to American manufacturing?
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Barack Obama
  • Ron Paul
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Santorum
Vote now at

After you have voted, discuss this topic in the forums.

See the results of the last poll: What will be the key to your company's success in 2012?


Michele Nash-Hoff Viewpoint: Why is it Important to Lower Corporate Tax Rates?

Tax system discourages investment in the U.S and may also slow the pace of technological innovation.

By Michele Nash-Hoff, president, ElectroFab Sales

Last fall the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI and the National Associations of Manufacturers Manufacturing Institute released a report on their analysis of production costs in the United States relative to its top nine trading partners -- Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Germany, United Kingdom, Korea, Taiwan, and France. The report revealed that on a trade-weighted basis, the U.S. tax rate is 8.6 percentage points higher than its trading partners in the 2011 cost study, considerably higher than the 5.6 percentage points of the first cost study in 2003.

While the U.S. federal and state combined tax rate has remained the same, every other country in the study has lowered corporate tax rates at least once since 1997, and most countries have done so several times. The result is that the U.S. rate is now second-highest to Japan in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The increase in the foreign advantage since the 2008 tax study is due to rate reductions in Canada (36% to 31%), Germany (38.4% to 29.4%) and Taiwan (25% to 17%).

If you think that a reduction in corporate tax rates would only benefit the large, multinational corporations doing business globally, think again. According to last MAPI/MI report, "Facts About Modern Manufacturing," produced in 2009, 95% of the 286,039 manufacturers were companies of under 100 employees...

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Michael Newkirk Viewpoint: Is Manufacturing Dead in America?

The U.S. is still the leading manufacturing nation on earth and the percent of GDP that manufacturing occupies has remained about the same for the past 30 years.

By Michael Newkirk, director, SAS

I was privileged to attend the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Board of Directors meeting in Washington D.C. recently. Attended by some 300 senior executives of American Manufacturing companies, it was like a who's-who in brand names anyone would recognize.

Many economists have stated that you cannot achieve and sustain economic leadership without a robust manufacturing sector. And yes, the conventional wisdom of the day is all about the decline of U.S. manufacturing. In 2012, we will increasingly hear the claim that companies are "shipping jobs overseas" with the implication that we need more laws and regulations from the candidates that promote this idea.

But what I heard at the NAM Board meeting were facts about U.S. manufacturing that tell a much different story....

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Stephen Gold Managing Security and Violence in Mexico

Drug-related violence has U.S. manufacturers reviewing their strategies for operating in Mexico.

By Stephen Gold, CEO, Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI

In late December 2011, Mexican officials announced the entire police force of Veracruz, including 800 officers and 300 administrative employees, was laid off -- an effort to root out rampant, insidious corruption within the ranks. Veracruz was recently the scene of one of the worst gang attacks in the ongoing Mexican drug war, and the mass firing was part of President Felipe Calderón's ongoing strategy to weaken the drug cartels.

While the United States has supported the goals of Mexico's war on drugs, the internal conflict has taken a heavy toll on the country. Since 2006, when Calderón took office, organized crime killings mostly of cartel members have more than tripled and reported kidnappings have more than doubled. Cargo theft has risen roughly 50% since 2006. In all, about 35,000 people died from drug-related violence in that timeframe.

Four-fifths of the drug-related murders have occurred in just 7% of the municipalities, primarily in the border states and Mexico City. Unfortunately, these particular areas -- including Nuevo León, home to Monterrey -- play an increasingly significant production and supply role for U.S. manufacturers, especially for the machinery, food and beverage, and metal parts industries. Organized crime is rapidly moving into areas frequented by American executives, criminals are targeting factories and cargo trucks, and kidnappings and extortion of enterprises are on the rise....

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Lean Transformation Summit
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Produced by Lean Enterprise Institute

Design & Manufacturing Texas
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Ft. Worth, Texas
Produced by UBM Canon

Management and Leadership Skills for Environmental Health and Safety Professionals
Monday, March 26, 2012
Boston, Mass.
Produced by Harvard School of Public Health



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