There is no doubt that American manufacturing has suffered a significant decline in the last few decades. This drop in our manufacturing base was a big factor leading to the current economic downturn.
What caused this reduction in American manufacturing? Most of it can be attributed to the offshoring of jobs. Manufacturers are taking advantage of free trade agreements and low-wage workers in foreign countries. Vulture capitalists on Wall Street helped push manufacturers to move overseas to increase their profits. The effect of reducing our manufacturing base is becoming increasingly obvious.
“So when you think about it, this loss in manufacturing jobs is kind of the backbone that broke that has caused this incredible unemployment in this country.”
— Gilbert Kaplan a trade lawyer with King & Spalding.
After World War II, the United States made up almost 50% of the global economy. This number continued to grow all the way through the 1970s, with American manufacturing industries employing over 19 million people. After 1979, offshoring pushed 8 million of those workers out of a job. Since 2001, more than 50,000 American factories have closed their doors – leaving workers stranded.
“When you as an economy get rid of your manufacturing base, the results are very cataclysmic. You have a domino effect of decline that starts to affect everybody in every industry.”
— Chris Michalakis – Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, President
This is the basis of a new movie that will be hitting a theater near you very soon.
“The American Made Movie” focuses on the decline of our manufacturing base. It takes an in-depth look at how we lost so many good jobs, and how companies are reviving Made in America.
“By revealing the successes of companies that have prospered without adopting the practices of their competitors, American Made Movie shows the positive impact manufacturing jobs have on national and local economies, aiding them in the face of great challenges. The livelihood of our country depends on understanding how we can maintain the American Dream while competing in a global economy.”
The film’s director and producer, Nathaniel Thomas McGill, knows this story first-hand. Growing up, he watched as factory after factory closed their doors, costing his family members their jobs as mechanics and assembly line workers. Co-director Vincent Vittorio has a family background in Detroit’s auto industry.
The movie focuses on what manufacturers are doing now to help expand the “Made in America” movement. The movie highlights Boston-based New Balance.
“What the country is realizing now is that making things is important. The reason making things is important is because it employs a lot of people, it gives you expertise that other markets want, and it teaches you to innovate.”
— New Balance CEO Robert DeMartini
Some companies have realized that making products in America is beneficial in two ways:
- It helps to rebuild our economy by employing local workers and putting much-needed funds into our local economy.
- ”Made in the USA” is also a very profitable marketing niche. Consumers want to support companies that are employing American workers; and the “Made in the US” logo lets people know that their money is going to fellow Americans.
“This idea that we have to make things in this country is back,” said Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
We asked Co-director Vincent Vittorio where we could see the new movie. He said the movie premiered in the Atlanta metro area and Chicago Labor Day weekend. It will premiere in New York City and Los Angeles on Friday, September 6th. Following that, it will be rolled out to several different cities coast to coast.