Letters: Other views on a government manufacturing plan

The Detroit News

Manufacturing needs industry input

Re: The Detroit News' June 23 op-ed, "Manufacturing needs national plan":  I don’t disagree with Gary Peters’ assertion that manufacturing needs a "national plan.” But save the example of the National Institute of Health, I am uneasy about federal government’s ability to coordinate something for which it possesses no fundamental understanding.

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters is calling for the creation of a new federal agency modeled after the National Institutes of Health to serve as a hub for federal manufacturing programs and to boost manufacturing to a national priority.

I’d be in favor of a central federal program only if the directives issued arose from a broad consortium of manufacturing representatives’ input. Federal oversight, left alone, is incapable of addressing both the nuance and broad scope that manufacturing needs today.

Daniel Stewart

Rochester Hills

Gov't should get out of manufacturing's way

I couldn't disagree more with Sen. Gary Peters calling for a National Institute of Manufacturing. The last thing America needs is another giant, bloated, top-down regulatory agency. If manufacturing growth is the goal then it should behoove the powers that be to provide the maximum amount of freedom to manufacturing businesses.

The ideal is to lure such businesses by offering the lowest taxes and fewest regulations than other states. President Ronald Reagan showed how well that worked nationally and President Donald Trump is doing so again.

The proper purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of citizens, not who should manufacture what, how, where and and at what price.

Michael Neibel


Peters is right on manufacturing

Michigan manufacturers who understand the transformative powers of Industry 4.0 applaud Sen. Gary Peters’ call for a National Institute of Manufacturing. 

As Michigan’s Industry 4.0 Knowledge Center, Automation Alley is engaged with 800 member organizations who are leading, aiming toward, or otherwise actively involved with Michigan’s manufacturing future: connected “smart” factories creating new ways to design and produce products, changing the way companies operate and revolutionizing the role humans will play in the labor economy. The U.S. — and Michigan in particular — must maintain our manufacturing prowess in a time of dramatic technical and cultural disruption.

A bipartisan National Institute of Manufacturing as touted by Peters could immediately address the glaring absence of a unified U.S. national policy aimed at Industry 4.0 integration, implementation and education. Meanwhile, Europe and Asia have well-entrenched, actionable Industry 4.0 agendas with metrics that should be alarming to all U.S. manufacturers and government leaders. 

Of particular concern is Made in China 2025, China’s strategic plan, issued in 2015 with goals that include increasing the Chinese-domestic content of core materials to 40 percent by 2020 and 70 percent by 2025. Such global initiatives cannot be ignored. Michigan and the U.S. have the potential to be leaders in Industry 4.0 implementation, but only if government makes it a priority. The National Institute of Manufacturing deserves our state — and our nation’s — support. 

Tom Kelly

Executive director and CEO

Automation Alley