Talk about your Government Motors?

Toledo Blade/ New York Times
Sept. 18, 2011
Obama calls for manufacturing to grow but hasn't set strategy
Quote from article:
"As President Obama urges Congress to enact a package of tax cuts and new government spending intended to revive growth and create jobs, one crucial corner of the U.S. economy -- manufacturing -- has largely fallen off Washington's radar screen.
Vermeer makes nearly one-third of its annual revenue from exports -- counting on the U.S. government for trade agreements, favorable currency arrangements, and even white-knuckle diplomacy to make exports happen.
In China, that wasn't enough. For several years, it ran into competition from Chinese manufacturers of horizontal drills, supported by their government in the form of free land, tax breaks, cheap credit, and other subsidies. With its share of the market falling precipitously, Vermeer in 2008 opened a plant in Beijing, taking a Chinese partner and drawing help for the venture from the Chinese.
"I am a very big proponent of making the United States a great place from which to export," said Ms. Andringa, 61, who is also chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers. But she added: "If we wanted to stay in the Chinese market, we needed to be there. That was the reality."
Manufacturers rely increasingly on governments, here and abroad, to prosper and expand. Vermeer, family owned, thrives with such help, as do big multinationals such as Dow Chemical Co. In each region of the world, multinationals produce much of what they sell locally. European and Asian governments support this strategy, and the U.S. government is cautiously getting into this game.
"We're going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States of America," the President recently told a joint session of Congress.
Vermeer tries to march to that edict, employing 140 engineers, 7 percent of its staff, in a constant effort to upgrade the various machines it exports. But it runs into an obstacle.
"We would prefer to buy everything in the United States, but some of our transmissions come from Europe," Ms. Andringa said. "They are not made here in the sizes and capacities that we need."
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