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U.S. Chamber of Commerce's International Platform Recommendations to the Parties says in order for the United States to stay competitive it must re-devote itself to education, enforce trade agreements and improve the investment climate. "While trade is an overwhelming net plus for our country, some people are dislocated by the process of economic change," says the report. "We must recognize this and, as a nation, provide the assistance and training that these Americans need to regain economic self-sufficiency." For a copy of the eight-page report, go to http://www.uschamber.com.
China's Experience with Productivity and Jobs, from The Conference Board, says China lost 15 million manufacturing jobs between 1995 and 2002 in many of the same industries shedding jobs in the United States. For information about the 30-page report, go to http://www.conference-board.org or call 212-759-0900.
The Technology Industry at an Innovation Crossroads, from the Electronics Industry Alliance, says the U.S. should not be worrying so much about offshore outsourcing but on making sure the country continues to remain innovative. The United States will prosper if it is the first to benefit from "the next big things," says the report, which outlines policy prescriptions for economic success. The 80-page report is located at http://www.eia.org/docs/innovation_ playbook.pdf.
Industry Views Toward A Comprehensive Strategy to Address the Challenges to U.S. Manufacturers, a report from the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing and The Association for Manufacturing Technology, analyzes the policy recommendations made by the Commerce Department for improving the fortunes of U.S. industry. The report, based on a conference with145 participants, makes specific recommendations regarding tax policy, lowering costs, technology and innovation, training, trade and defense manufacturing. The 38-page report is located at http://www.nacfam.org.
Offshore Outsourcing and America's Competitive Edge: Losing Out in the High Technology R&D and Services Sectors, from the office of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), says the outsourcing trend "is far bigger and more complicated than the current debate suggests....We can no longer afford to continue in this administration's path of denial and inaction. There are no assurances that we will remain a global leader in innovation and maintain our jobs, our standard of living and our global market share." For a copy of the 42-page white paper, go to http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/whitepapers/Offshoring.pdf.
Capturing Global Advantage, from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), says large industrial companies must become more aggressive in moving their production to low-cost countries (LCCs). The biggest problem companies face in the era of globalization is "being overly cautious and sensitive" in moving factories offshore, says BCG. "Industrial companies that benefit most from LCC operations generally take the boldest, most aggressive approach. They operate from the premise that everything is probably better produced in LCCs, and then work backward to identify what absolutely must be kept at home." The report is located at http://www.bcg.com.
Understanding the Offshoring Challenge and Meeting the Offshoring Challenge, two reports from the Progressive Policy Institute, say that around 840,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since the beginning of 2001 due to imports. "It is by no means a 'plus' if offshoring results in the loss of good jobs and the erosion of competencies of our key high-value added industries," says PPI analyst Robert Atkinson. The U.S. must "raise our game" by boosting innovation and skills and getting tough with foreign nations subsidizing trade, stealing intellectual property and manipulating their currencies. The reports are located at http://www.ppionline.org or by calling 202-547-0001.
Invention: Enhancing Inventiveness for Quality of Life, Competitiveness and Sustainability, a report from the Committee for Study of Invention, says the United States can no longer take its position as the world leader of invention for granted. "Education curriculums stifle rather than promote inventiveness," says the report, sponsored by the Lamelson-MIT Program and the National Science Foundation. The private sector is no longer investing in long-term R&D that can transform industries and is instead focusing on short-term applications. Federal policies are also "short-changing" and "zeroing out" investments in sciences, math and technological programs that "seed basic R&D, such as biotechnology or the Internet," says the report. A new generation of inventors must be nurtured in order for mankind's problems to be addressed adequately. The 80-page report is located at http://web.mit.edu/invent/.
Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2004 Annual Report finds that the surplus in foreign trade in services increased in 2002 by 4.3 percent "marking a departure from the 4.3 percent average annual decrease experienced during 1997 to 2001," says the International Trade Commission. Travel and tourism services remained the leading service exports, accounting for 23.8 percent of service exports in 2002. Business, professional and technical services accounted for 10.3 percent. A copy of the report (Investigation No. 332-345, USITC publication 3703) may be obtained from the publications section of the ITC Internet site at www.usitc.gov or by calling 202-205-1809.
Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2003, from the International Trade Commission, outlines the loss of competitiveness of virtually every industrial sector. It is located at http://www.usitc.gov/tradeshifts/default.htm.
Quarterly Forecast of U.S. Exports, Global Growth and the Dollar from the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI predicts that exports will grow at a rate of between 13 percent to 16 percent through 2005. Economic growth in Canada, Japan and Latin America is helping increase American exports. The depreciation of the dollar is also helping. But there are some "negative risks" associated with the near-term global outlook, says MAPI. "Although recent data do show modest improvement, moribund domestic demand in the three largest Euro-zone countries of Germany, France and Italy is a continuing concern. In China, overextended domestic credit and runaway activity in fixed investment have created legitimate concerns about unsustainable economic growth." MAPI says capital goods exports will grow by 19 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter of this year and by between 25 percent and 30 percent through the end of 2005. For a copy of the report call 703-841-9000.
U.S. International Investment Position at Yearend, 2003, from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, says foreigners are investing a lot more in the United States than Americans are investing overseas. The U.S. net international investment position at the end of 2003 was a negative $2.431 trillion. The net investment position became $197.7 billion more negative from 2002 to 2003, mainly due to large net foreign purchases of U.S. securities. The report is located at http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/ newsrelarchive/2004/intinv03.htm.
Global Relocation Trends Survey, from the National Foreign Trade Council, finds that U.S. companies are having a more difficult time transferring employees overseas. Most employees going overseas for extended engagements are not bringing their families. The report is located at http://www.nftc.org/default/ hr/GRTS%202003-4.pdf.
Globalization and E-Commerce: Diffusion and Impacts of the Internet and E-Commerce in Germany finds that e-commerce applications "have reached a high level of saturation" in Germany. Small- and medium-sized firms are at the forefront of implementing e-commerce applications in Germany, says the report, funded by the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations. It is located at http://www.crito.uci. edu/2/prGEC.asp.
U.S.-Japan Economic Partnership for Growth: U.S.-Japan Investment Initiative 2004 Report, from the U.S. Department of State, is located at http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rpt/33295.htm.
Methods for Assessing the Economic Impacts of Government R&D, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says it is difficult to measure the results of R&D that have a gestation cycle of at least six to 10 years. As a result, R&D funding is difficult to rationalize and the government's role in funding research is often challenged. The report, from NIST's Strategic Planning and Economic Analysis Group, is available at http://www.NIST.gov/director/prog-ofc/report03-1.pdf.
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: Alternative Business Models, from the National Academy of Public Administration, says MEP must expand its services to small manufacturers and focus on new product development, technology diffusion and supply chain integration. The report is located at http://www.napawash.org/mep.
Report of the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy: A Journey to Inspire, Innovate and Discover, Moon, Mars and Beyond is located at http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/ 60736main_M2M_report_small.pdf.
State Higher Education Finance 2003, from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, says state support for public colleges has struggled to keep up with increasing enrollments. Between 1991 and 2003, enrollment in public institutions increased by 18.7 percent. During the same period, as measured in constant dollars, state appropriations per full-time-equivalent student decreased by 7.3 percent, from $6,283 in 1991 to $5,823 in 2003. "State budget shortfalls and substantial enrollment growth contributed to these results," says the report. During that period, tuition per student increased by 28.6 percent. The report is located at http://www.sheeo.org/finance/shef.pdf.
Graduate Enrollment in Science and Engineering Fields Reaches a New Peak: First-Time Enrollment of Foreign Students Declines, a report from the National Science Foundation, says full-time enrollment in graduate science and engineering programs has "recovered from the downward trend of 1994 to 1998." Enrollment peaked at nearly 455,400 students in the fall of 2002, a 6 percent increase over 2001 and a 5 percent gain over the previous peak in 1993. Foreign enrollments in S&E graduate education dropped by 8 percent between 2001 and 2002. "The data seem to support indications that policies implemented after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks may have adversely affected first-time enrollments for certain foreign-born students," says NSF. For a printed copy of the eight-page "Info Brief" (NSF04-326) go to http://www.nsf.gov/ sbe/srs/infbrief/nsf04326/start.htm or call 800-281-8749.
Employment Outcomes of Recent Science and Engineering Graduates Vary By Field of Degree and Sector of Employment, (NSF04-316), http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/.
The Role of Community Colleges in the Education of Recent Science and Engineering Graduates, (NSF04-315), http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/.
U.S. Academic R&D Continues to Grow as More Universities and Colleges Expand Their R&D Activities, (NSF04-319), http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/.
State of Working America 2004/2005, a forthcoming book from the Economic Policy Institute, finds that stock market investment "is largely out of reach for most working Americans. Policy makers who talk about the United States as an 'ownership' society...may have to think again." Half of all American households don't hold stock in any form including mutual funds and pensions, "two keys to a secure retirement," says EPI. The bottom 80 percent of Americans only own 10.7 percent of all stock market holdings. The top 1 percent of stock owners hold close to half of the value of all stocks. For more information, go to http://www.epinet.org.
Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America, from the National Association of Counties, finds that incomes are lagging dramatically behind housing costs. Most people working in average-paying professions in law enforcement educating, retail and nursing can no longer afford to buy a median-priced home even in the "low cost" southern part of the country, including in cities such as Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Charleston and elsewhere. The report is located on the Web site of the National Housing Conference at http://www.nhc.org/nhcimages/ Paycheck_Counties2004.pdf.
Overworked, Underpaid and Under Attack: The Bush Administration Plan To Deny Overtime Pay to Six Million Americans says the overtime regulation that went into effect on August 23 cuts time-and-a-half pay for approximately 6 million workers, according to the Democratic staff of the House Appropriations Committee and the Education and Workforce Committee. The new law will reduce pay for salaried workers who are making more than $23,660 a year.
Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence Report of A Survey Conducted at Auto-Valve Inc., Dayton Ohio. The 10-page analysis of the $5-million company that can produce 5,000 different types of valves is located at http://www.bmpcoe.org.
Worker Displacement, 2001-03 finds that in the two years ending in 2003, 5.3 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least three years, up from 4 million the previous two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty-three percent of the 5.3 million displaced workers lost their jobs due to plant or company closings or moves. Nearly one-third of the displaced workers lost jobs in manufacturing. Fifty-seven percent of "long-tenured" workers who were displaced from full-time jobs and who found new jobs received lower earnings. About one-third experienced earnings losses of 20 percent or more. The BLS says an additional 6.1 million persons were displaced from jobs they had held for less than three years. "Combining the short- and long-tenured groups, the number of displaced workers totaled 11.4 million, up from 10.1 million," says the report, located at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/news.release/disp.txt.
County Employment and Wages: Fourth Quarter 2003, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, says Clark County, Nev., and Loudoun County, Va., had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the largest counties in the United States. Clark and Loudoun counties experienced over-the-year employment gains of 5.2 percent each, compared with zero job growth in the nation. Of the 315 largest counties in the United States, 171 had over-the-year growth in employment and 137 experienced declines in employment. The analysis is located at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/news.release/cewqtr.txt.
Department of Energy's Office of Science Strategic Plan for the next 20 years is available at http://www.sc.doe.gov/Sub/Mission/Mission_Strategic.htm.
State Renewable Energy Requirements and Goals: Status Through 2003 from the Energy Information Administration analyzes the 15 states that have established goals to increase renewable energy use. The report is located at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/analysispaper/rps/index.html.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Energy Sources, from the Energy Information Administration, finds that carbon dioxide emissions in the United States increased last year by almost 1 percent to 7.788 trillion metric tons. A cold winter and high natural gas prices, which caused a shift to the higher carbon fuels of oil and coal, added to the increase in carbon emissions. The demand for energy increased by 0.6 percent in 2003. The transportation sector generated the most amount of carbon dioxide emissions, followed by the industrial sector, residential and then commercial. In the industrial sector, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were unchanged in 2003, while total industrial output increased by 0.2 percent. Between 1990 and 2003, the industrial sector's carbon dioxide emissions declined by 1 percent, while total industrial output increased by 44 percent and manufacturing output increased by 53 percent. "By 2003, energy-intensive primary metals output was 1 percent below 1990 levels, while basic chemicals output was 6 percent below 1990 levels," says the EIA in the report located at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/flash/pdf/flash.pdf.
EPA's Annual Toxic Release Inventory says that toxic emissions increased for the first time in 15 years in 2002. The amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment by the 25,000 facilities reporting on nearly 650 chemicals increased 5 percent from 2001 to 2002, to 4.79 billion pounds. The increase was due in large part to one facility: the Barrick Goldstrike Mine in Arizona, says the EPA. Chemical releases have decreased by 49 percent since the inception of TRI in 1988. The TRI report is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri. A TRI mapping tool that provides data on local facilities and their chemical releases is located at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.
Harboring Pollution: The Dirty Truth About U.S. Ports, from the National Resources Defense Council, says marine ports in the United States are a major source of pollution. The report is located at http://www.nrdc.org/air/pollution/ports/contents.asp.
Long-Term World Oil Supply Scenarios, The Future Is Neither as Bleak Nor Rosy as Some Assert is the federal government's first analysis of long-term world oil supplies. It finds that peak production could be reached by 2021 at 48.5 billion barrels per year. Demand would have to grow by 3 percent per year for this to occur, which could happen if the economies of China and other developing countries continue to grow. However, depending on new discoveries and lower growth of demand (2 percent per year), peak production could be in the year 2037 at a volume of 53.2 billion barrels per year. If there is no annual increase in demand for oil and consumption were to be held at 24.6 billion barrels per year, peak production would be in the year 2112.
Facing the Forces of Change: The Road to Opportunity, from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, says the business of wholesale distribution is undergoing a fundamental change that will impact every company involved in the $2.9-trillion sector of the economy. Customers are becoming more demanding, expecting real-time service and instant information from distributors. "Customers will roam, searching for information and taking over more of the pre-sales and transactional activities typically handled by their wholeasaler-distributors," says the study, conducted by Pembroke Consulting of Philadelphia. "The salesforce's perceived value in educating customers about new products and in-use applications will be significantly eroded. Some customers will simply not value -- and will refuse to pay for -- a wholesaler-distributor's outside salesforce."
Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition, a report from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, says "imperfections in the health care system have impeded competition from reaching its full potential." The two government agencies held 27 days of hearings to investigate the role of competition in health care and how can it be enhanced to increase consumer welfare. It also looked at how the government should enforce its antitrust laws "to protect existing and potential competition in health care." The report is located at http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/health_care/204694.htm.
Copyright Issues In Digital Media, from the Congressional Budget Office reviews current copyright law in the United States and considers the unique aspects of digital technology's challenge to that law. The report is located at http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5738&sequence=0.
Military Operations, Fiscal Year 2004 Costs for the Global War on Terrorism Will Exceed Supplemental, Requiring DOD to Shift Funds from Other Uses, a report from the General Accounting Office, finds that the supplemental appropriations Congress approved for the Department of Defense to fight the global war on terrorism will not be nearly enough to cover expenses for this year. The $12.3-billion shortfall is causing the Pentagon to transfer funds among appropriations accounts, deferring activities and reducing costs. "DOD plans to ask the Congress for additional transfer authority," says GAO. "The deferral of activities planned for fiscal year 2004 adds to the requirements that will need to be funded in fiscal year 2005 and potentially later years and could result in a 'bow wave' effect in future fiscal years." GAO says there is a "lack of transparency" of how funding is being spent in "miscellaneous" categories of the Pentagon's budget. The result is a "reduced...accountability to the Congress and the American people." The report is located at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04915.pdf.
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