The Promise of American Industry: An Alternate Assessment of Problems and Prospects

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Although the trade and budget deficits, foreign purchases of U.S. corporations, and generally negative economic reports have received much attention in the press and business literature, Losman and Liang argue that the facts demand a more balanced perspective and that the economic future of the U.S. is far less troubled than public discussions imply. In this volume, they both provide a framework for an alternative analysis of American industry and present the supporting economic data. Focusing primarily on the manufacturing sector, the authors examine the effects of such influences as increased foreign competition, technological advances, mergers and acquisitions, and the changing position of the United States in the world economy. They reveal that although the once unchallenged preeminence of the United States economy and its industrial capabilities is clearly a thing of the past, American industry has been unduly maligned. It still exhibits major strengths and vibrance, with positive changes currently taking place. The study is divided into three parts. The authors begin by describing the nature of the industrial sector and offering a profile of U.S. industry. Individual chapters are devoted to the relationship between government and industry, technology developments, productivity issues, international influences, and the performance of U.S. industry. Part Two consists of two in-depth case studies. The first, on the U.S. steel industry, explores both its international position and the contributions made by the industry to our national defense capabilities. In the second study, the status and condition of the machine tool industry, a sector in serious trouble, is examined. The final chapter dispels some widely held fears about the future of American industry while pointing to the challenges which must be met if the manufactring sector is to remain a viable competitor in the global economy. Students of management and economics as well as policymakers concerned about America's future economic prospects will find this book enlightening reading.