Improving on Obama's 'Made in America' Mantra

Students listen to robotics mentor Jerry Skene at the start of the FIRST Robotics Competition. Photograph by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Obama’s call to make “Made in America” the next manufacturing mantra is impressive, but it’s the wrong goal. Making products in today’s economy, with multiple tiers of suppliers, a global supply chain, and a global market, complicates the matter. Rather, America should focus on “made” in its engineering sense: meaning conceived, designed, and developed, not simply assembled and manufactured.

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