Survey shows U.S. manufacturers foresee domestic expansion

June 19, 2008

North American manufacturers consider the United States the most desirable country for expansion over the next three years, according to a survey released today by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), The Manufacturing Institute, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

The largest number of North American companies (44 percent) say they intend to expand production in the U.S. over the next three years. And 57 percent of U.S. manufacturers say they will become more globally competitive over the next five years across the supply chain from sales, marketing and customer service to engineering and information technology.

The news, however, is not all rosy. "The survey clearly shows concerns that manufacturing companies want government to address," said Emily DeRocco, NAM senior vice president and president, The Manufacturing Institute (the research, education and workforce affiliate of the NAM). "Manufacturers cited controlling labor costs, enacting favorable tax policies and assisting with the severe shortage of skilled manufacturing workers, including engineers, scientists and technicians, as the top three areas that policymakers should address to help improve their global competitiveness. With an election on the horizon, U.S. candidates should redouble their efforts to explain how they will address these major pressure points and improve prospects for a continued strong manufacturing production base in America," she said.

The survey, Made in North America, reflects the views of 321 top-tier executives in a broad range of North American manufacturing companies of all sizes. The majority of companies represented in the survey (45 percent) are based in the U.S. The survey can be downloaded at