America Falling Behind in Numerous Industries

At the height of America’s reign as the world’s largest manufacturing capital, the U.S. was also the leader in countless other industries. But since the nation’s manufacturing base has been dismantled due to wrongheaded trade policies, it has lost the lead in many of those industries. The Atlantic Magazine details 10 of them.

Since cars were first on the road, America has led the way in the automotive sector. But the times are changing. Japan is now the world’s largest manufacturer of automobiles, producing about 5 million more than American manufacturers in 2009.

That same year, China passed the U.S. to become the largest car market in the world by sale.

China has also displaced the U.S. as the top producer of beer globally. In 2000, America held the title, but it took China less than a decade to make up the difference.

The Asian nation of over a billion people also surged past the U.S. to become the world’s top exporter of high-technology products, including aerospace, computers, pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments, and electrical machinery. In 1995, China controlled just five percent of the market worldwide. It now controls one-fifth.

The U.S. has also lost the throne in the category of commercial aircraft production. For years, the U.S. had a virtual monopoly in the industry. But, through a whole host of illegal subsidies, European company Airbus has passed the U.S. in 2010.

While proponents of the dirty fuel source coal like to claim that America has the world’s largest reserve of the black rock, China produces more – much more. In 2009, China produced 3.3 billion short tons. The U.S. produced just one billion.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, environmentalists are fond of touting America’s potential as a producer of wind energy. They say the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of the wind industry. However, the country is just second worldwide in the production of wind energy, behind China.

China has also surpassed the U.S. in the production of lettuce, rice and pork. With over three times the population, it is no surprise that China produces more food products. What is surprising is the fact that China exports more of each product than the U.S.

The fact that America is falling behind in those industries is symptomatic of America’s failed trade policies that encourage the dismantling of the manufacturing base, outsourcing and increased imports.

What America needs is to refocus on the big picture. No more job-killing trade pacts and policies that encourage domestic production.

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