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"When the average American thinks about manufacturing, and it seems most rarely do, they tend to think about it as "dying." There is little doubt that in today's increasingly global economy that American manufacturing needs to be saved. In the new book Can American Manufacturing Be Saved: Why We Should And How We Can, author Michele Nash-Hoff highlights the current state of manufacturing in this country and what we can do to promote more of it and save it as well." Read More

Roger Simmermaker, Buy American Mention of the Week

"Michele Nash-Hoff’s perspective and analysis of the advances and challenges of American manufacturing can only be attained by someone who has seen it from the trenches and not from an ivory tower.  Readers will come to realize the importance of ‘Made in the U.S.A.’”

Steve Cozzetto, President, Century Rubber Company

Can American Manufacturing Be Saved? - Why We Should and How We Can is a dynamic new book by fellow Huffington Post blogger, Michele Nash-Hoff. I strongly recommend this book, which tosses a much-needed bucket of cold water over the annoying cheer squad of globalization. It does this simply by assuming that America, Americans, and the values we have promulgated actually matter. (read more...)

Greg Autry, The Huffington Post

Michele Nash-Hoff has become a ferocious advocate for American manufacturing – not by wrapping herself in the Stars and Stripes and calling for cast-iron trade barriers, but by reviewing our long and rich industrial history and asking us to look ahead.  (read more...)

Patricia Moody, Blue Heron Journal

“What a great history lesson on American manufacturing.  We as Americans need to stop the loss of manufacturing jobs and this book is the best way to start the turnaround.  A must read for anyone who cares about our country.”

Donald Schlotfelt, President, Pacific Metal Stampings

“From Chapter 1, a brilliant mini-history of American manufacturing, to the closing prescription for recovery and ensuing pep talk, this book will keep you riveted to your chair.  The U. S. has been the world’s preeminent economic force for more than a century.  Will it be so at the close of this one?  The author says ‘no’ unless we wake up and reclaim our failing destiny.”

Dave Nuffer, Chairman, Nuffer, Tucker & Smith

This book is rich with history and detailed research, providing a comprehensive look at the contribution manufacturing makes to the U.S. economy. It considers the effects of U.S. trade policies, offshoring, the threat to our national security, and what can be done to save American manufacturing by government, industry and individuals.

Kate Hand, Products Finishing magazine

The author of Can American Manufacturing Be Saved is a measured voice of industrial experience and pragmatism – and one that believes manufacturing is absolutely the mortar than can help bind together the different elements of our fragile economy...Nash-Hoff should be required reading for U.S. industrial companies today – not to mention politicians and others who represent our interests in government and trade.

Jason Busch and Lisa Reisman, Surplus Record

Michelle Nash-Hoff’s book is a must read for any citizen who is worried about the future of their country, their children and grandchildren and the kind of world we want for them, since only a strong America can produce a world of increasing liberty, prosperity and peace. And America can only be strong if it still makes some things.

Dr. Sheila R. Ronis, Dir., MBA/MM Programs, Walsh College

“Michelle chronicles the rise of manufacturing in America and forecasts the pending fall if we as a nation don’t come together to reverse the erosion of our manufacturing base. Clearly, the consequences of inaction and indifference is already hitting our shores in the form of foreign control of our businesses and industries;  however, she does provide some glimmer of hope, success stories, and short term remedies we can all take to buy time until a national agenda can be developed. ”

Rick Sunamoto, Manufacturing Manager, HM Electronics.

Michele Nash-Hoff’s book is a wake-up call to all Americans to the importance of restoring American manufacturing if we are to maintain our national sovereignty and the capability to defend our country. The accelerating loss of manufacturing jobs has led directly to higher unemployment and decaying public services through declining tax revenues. This book provides a much-needed road map to save and expand American manufacturing and restore the high quality of American life.

Roger Hedgecock, national talk-radio host

The Reshoring Initiative’s mission is to strengthen U.S. manufacturing by helping companies see that they will be more profitable by bringing their manufacturing back to the U.S. Michele has always spoken knowledgeably on this subject and was the right choice to carry our message to industry on the west coast. I appreciate Michele's personal commitment to U.S. manufacturing and to reshoring.

Harry Moser, Founder and President, the Reshoring Initiative

Highly recommended reading for all start-up entrepreneurs. Understand your manufacturing decisions to the fullest extent. The dire effects outsourcing has had on our entire nation can be reversed with the right leadership decisions at the top and conscientious consumers at home leading the trend back. Jobs, the economy, and literally the entire fate of our nation as a world leader is at stake. Read this book and then tell your neighbor. Buy American! Save American manufacturing and save our country.

Adrian Pelkus, President, San Diego Inventors Forum

“Michele Nash-Hoff.'s book is an easy read. For me, the most impressive characteristics were the amount of information it contained, the amount of work that had to go into research, and the coverage from historical to current times. While I have been involved in manufacturing and operations for more years than I care to admit, I found a lot of information that I was not aware of. I can highly recommend the book not just for operations professionals but even more for C level executives, CEO's, COO's and CFO's.

We need more attention to our manufacturing industries and help raise the awareness that while we are late in the ballgame, there is still time to turn it into a win. This book helps to do just that.”

Peter Polgar, TechAmerica San Diego Council Operations Roundtable Chair

"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." I couldn't help reflecting on that quote of Margaret Thatcher recently as I read Michele Nash-Hoff's 2009 book, "Can American Manufacturing Be Saved? Why We Should and How We Can," while considering the backdrop of largely male politicians locked in ideological squabbling rather than rolling up their sleeves and working to solve our deadly serious economic crisis. I can't recall a sorrier time for American politics.

In contrast to the stalemate in Washington, Nash-Hoff, president of ElectroFab Sales, a manufacturers' sales rep firm based in San Diego, has chosen to be an activist. In that vein, she wrote: "The American people have a choice to make. We can either accept the continued destruction of America's industrial base and allow all the gains achieved by America's industrial workers to be wiped out to compete with Third-World labor. Or, we can choose to secure a future for American industry and our industrial workers."

If this statement from the book sounds overly dramatic, consider her vantage point when she was writing it. Nash-Hoff saw 20% of her company's manufacturing database disappear during the six years prior to her starting the book. Nationally, tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities closed during that period and employment fell by 3 million. The picture has only worsened since she published the book.

When I caught up with her recently, Nash-Hoff reiterated her concerns that a weakened manufacturing sector will result in both fundamental economic and national security problems for the United States. She says without a vigorous manufacturing sector, the country risks losing its middle class and becoming a "Third-World nation exporting commodities while materials are turned into finished products in another country. We will become a nation of haves and have-nots."

She says China openly aspires to become the dominant superpower in the world and that it is practicing "predatory mercantilism" as an economic strategy for doing just that. "China is not a democracy. It is a communist country that practices a version of capitalism as part of its plan to become the No. 1 economy in the world," she warns.

Nash-Hoff also ponders what will happen if we lose more of our manufacturing base and "we can't produce the products we need to defend our country." Could a conflict with Chinese interests result in cutting off the U.S. military from Chinese-produced components needed for military equipment?

Asked how the country was faring under the Obama administration, Nash-Hoff says both the health care reform legislation and the impending rescission of the Bush tax cuts would increase costs for manufacturers and add to the uncertainty about the business climate. Regarding the tax cuts, she says, "That is really serious because 99% of all manufacturers are small businesses and many are not incorporated. It is going to affect people's personal incomes, not just corporate taxes. That is a big thing keeping people from hiring."

In her book, Nash-Hoff recounts a steady stream of recommendations from various organizations for promoting U.S. manufacturing. She says the problem has been that these reports come and go, but don't result in policies with traction. Nash-Hoff offers her own immediate and long-term remedies. At the top of her immediate list are tax issues: Cut the capital gains tax to 15%, reduce corporate taxes to 28% or 31%, increase and make permanent the R&D tax credit, and eliminate the estate tax. Right after that, she urges action to address foreign currency manipulation.

What would U.S. manufacturing look like in five years or so if her recommendations were followed? Nash-Hoff says the country could recoup half to two-thirds of the 5.5 million manufacturing jobs lost in the last 10 years. She says this recovery would be fueled in part by
innovators and entrepreneurs who can "regenerate and rejuvenate our American manufacturing."

As Nash-Hoff wrote, we have a choice to make if we are to save manufacturing. The November elections will be a good place to start.

Steve Minter - Editor-in-Chief, Industry Week

The newest "China syndrome," the one that has overtaken the U.S. manufacturing industry, may be losing some impetus in American markets but will remain a presence on the sales racks for years to come, says industry expert and author Michele Nash-Hoff.

"In general, China is very dangerous," said Nash-Hoff, who is author of the book "Can American Manufacturing Be Saved? Why We Should and How We Can"

"The biggest concern is that they have gained our technology and are now becoming a technology country instead of just a manufacturing country. China now is a high-tech arena as well because of its purchasing of technology and now is purchasing U.S. companies. Now we have some electronic components no longer made in the United States."

Along with its own emerging middle class, which has displaced the U.S. middle class in the global manufacturing market, China's economy, which is rivaling the world-leading U.S., has begun taking hold this year. Some 190 companies went public on China's Shenzen Stock Exchange after raising a total of $30 billion in capital over the first half of this year.

"There's not an industry here that's not impacted," Nash-Hoff said.

It started in Oct. 10, 2000, when President Bill Clinton signed Most Favored Nation Status for China into law, which paved the way for China's accession to the WTO two months later. The status benefited the American agricultural industry for exporting food to China but hurt most other American industries that became victim of "predatory pricing."

"That's when goods are priced for less than it costs to make them to put rival countries out of business in that area," she said. "It happened in Japan with cars that were priced low, and then, once they became established, look how the prices went up. Now they cost more than the American cars."

But growth comes at a price, says Nash-Hoff, who points out that shipping cost has tripled in the last four years, and some American companies don't want to wait a month to six weeks to receive shipments. She said the growth of union shops in China has forced some companies to increase workers' salaries and has narrowed the gap of buying things cheaper. A Chinese-made product that a few years ago cost 10 percent what it costs to make in the U.S. now costs 40 percent, and Nash-Hoff sees that difference continuing to narrow.

"It took us 150 years of labor struggles to get to an eight-hour workday and the minimum wage. China has access to see it and not take 150 years," she said. "There's already 25 years of them getting into the industrial world, and they are being underpaid and overworked, and we see here that they are demanding higher wages.

"There are about 1,000 mini-protests per week in China, mostly over the pollution in industrial cities. You find it in blogs: Workers have great unrest and want to be paid more, which affects cost benefits of manufacturing in China. It makes more American companies want to bring (purchasing) back to the U.S. because cost advantage is disappearing. The cost advantage (for buying from China) is disappearing. It was beginning to happen when I researched my book and happening more and more."

What also has exacerbated that trend is the biggest pet peeve of consumers in the Poconos and nationwide: the short lifespan of many items carrying Made in China tags. American-based manufacturing that once stressed the appeal of durability two generations ago has shifted to cheaper but disposable items made overseas.

"We've become a disposable society," said Nash-Hoff.

Gino DeGiosio, PNC Bank business banking sales manager, said he sees less of a China influence in the Poconos, particularly when it comes to industrial needs.

"In this region, there is a notion to buy locally," said DeGiosio. "If they (companies) have an option to buy a product made in the U.S., they would go with that. Before, it (U.S. merchandise) was not competitive with pricing, but that's starting to change a little bit. And they realize that if it costs a little more but lasts more years, they're buying into that now."

Nash-Hoff said her book has been well received, particularly in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. She sees the impact as a resident in California, with 12.4 percent unemployment from a sagging economy and loss of jobs overseas.

"In general, (American) medical (manufacturing) is holding its own. Equipment to make semiconductors is doing well," she said. "Anything related to aerospace and defense is fine, but we will see spending cutback with our reduced involvement in Iraq. They're facing that fact for the next couple of years. Manufacturing offroad vehicles (ATVs, dune buggies) has been in the tank for the last three years."

Nash-Hoff has advocated hard in her blogs for changing tax regulations and trade policies.

"We need to be more globally competitive," she said. "There's a difference between free market and free trade. We have trade agreements where it benefits more countries than ourselves and costs jobs here. The trade deficit to China was insignificant in the 1990s, and it has accelerated 10 to 15 times since China was granted Most Favored Nation status."

"Manufacturing is like a three-legged stool. Manufacturing is one leg, business owners is another leg and government is the third leg. The problem is a tipped-over stool base with manufacturers trying to save themselves. We need to get individual people to want to buy American products and get the government to change policies."

From latest developments in China, that trend may be starting already.

Wayne Witkowski - For the Pocono Record


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