Restrictions on trade and immigration will not deter the march of technology. A study by McKinsey shows that more than 50% of the time spent at work today involves routine physical labor, data collection and data processing. Nearly all of this work can be automated. And the safer jobs of today -- jobs that involve human interaction -- may become automated in the future.
Congressman Ryan today introduced two new bills aimed at bolstering U.S. manufacturing and employment. The first of these bills, The RETAIN Act, modifies the United States Code for civilian and defense contracts by adding a preference for contractors that promise to retain jobs in the United States.
The prevailing narrative says automation was the main culprit behind U.S. manufacturing job losses in the early 2000s, and that automation is now powering an unprecedented manufacturing technology revolution that will continue to displace jobs. But the truth is trade pressure and faltering U.S. competitiveness were responsible for more than two-thirds of the 5.7 million manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010. And rather than entering a “fourth industrial revolution,” U.S. manufacturing productivity growth now is actually near an all-time low.
Offshoring production from the United States to factories overseas has arguably done a lot of damage to the U.S. economy. Over the last three decades, the trade deficit ballooned and millions of American manufacturing jobs were lost. And with those jobs, according to analysts, America also lost some of its innovative edge.
Intel Corporation on Tuesday announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42, which is expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world. The high-volume factory is in Chandler, Ariz., and is targeted to use the 7 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process. It will produce microprocessors to power data centers and hundreds of millions of smart and connected devices worldwide. The announcement was made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the White House.
China’s largest chip maker has announced it will invest $30bn to build a new semiconductor factory, as the world’s second largest economy seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign technology. The state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup will open the facility in the city of Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu province, where it will mainly produce chips used in consumer electronics such as cellphones, cameras and computers, according to a statement posted on the company’s official website.
Industrial innovation has slowed down in the United States mainly because of imports from China, according to a recent study. The findings of the study support President-elect Donald Trump’s negative stance on free trade and globalization. But can Trump’s tougher trade policies alone help bring innovation back to the United States?
The program, called Students Acquiring Technical Skills (SATS), is intended to build student interest in technical careers in addition to providing hands-on machining and measurement skills, Freeport Area Principal Michael Kleckner said. It is one of several programs at area schools that are geared toward cultivating students for careers in such potentially well-paying technical fields where there is a huge demand for qualified workers.
To address the increasing rate of automation, educators are integrating coding and STEM skills into curriculums all the way down to the kindergarten level. The focus of education systems across the world has turned to transferring fixed computing and engineering knowledge to students, and testing the mastery of such concepts through standardized testing regimes.
Donald Trump wants to take on "Made in China'' to bring jobs back to America. But the battle is already becoming one of ideas as the Factory to the World ramps up research-and-development spending to become an innovator as well as assembler. China will overtake the U.S. in spending on R&D by 2020 on a purchasing power parity basis, according to analysts from Credit Suisse Group AG.