A decade into the 21st century, the role of manufacturing in global and metropolitan economies continues to evolve. After 20 years of rapid globalization in which manufacturing production shifted to emerging markets, demand for consumption is growing there, too. Emerging market demand, in fact, has unprecedented momentum as 1.8 billion people enter the global consuming class. At the same time, a robust pipeline of product innovation and manufacturing processes has opened new ways for U.S. manufacturing companies to compete.
On November 19, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a forum to release a report from the McKinsey Global Institute that examines the role of manufacturing in advanced and developing economies and the choices that manufacturers grapple with in this new era of global competition. Following presentations by the authors, an expert panel discussed the key trends shaping manufacturing competitiveness, global strategies, the next era of manufacturing innovation, and what these changes imply for growth and employment in manufacturing across the globe.