Summary of What Is Manufacturing? Why Does the Definition Matter?

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What Is Manufacturing? Why Does the Definition Matter? summary
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“Buy American” is a popular slogan, but its meaning is elusive, according to an eye-opening report from the US Congressional Research Service. The definitions of two important concepts in manufacturing – the “country of origin” and the “physical transformation” of products – are exceedingly complex, but how stakeholders and policy makers characterize those ideas will determine what steps the United States should take to energize its manufacturing base. getAbstract recommends this fascinating account of what US manufacturing statistics count and don’t count to executives, policy experts and consumers interested in the nuances surrounding the notion of “Made in the USA.”

About the Author

The Congressional Research Service provides policy and legal analysis to the US Congress.



From the time of its founding, the United States has recognized the importance of domestic manufacturing to its economy. But already by 1810, officials had difficulty knowing what to include in that sector. Since then, the quandary has become more complex due to ongoing changes in the where and how of product design, production and assembly. Today, policy experts need to reassess two long-held pillars for identifying items of American manufacture: the “country of origin” and the “physical transformation” of products. Updating these definitions would more accurately depict the status of US manufacturing...

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