Robert Atkinson discusses the state of US manufacturing in an Asia Times webinar on July 28, 2020. Photo: AT screen grab

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Dr. Robert Atkinson, CEO of the Institute for Innovation and Information Technology, told an Asia Times webinar July 28 that the issue of restoring American industry has forced its way onto the national agenda after 30 years of neglect.

The fact that the Biden campaign has proposed a multi-hundred billion dollar program for restoring US industry is unprecedented inside the Democratic Party. The Republican Party has shifted away from the old Bush Administration view that a dollar’s worth of potato chips is no different than a dollar’s worth of computer chips.

America is beginning to understand that it can’t be a world power without high tech manufacturing. It has yet to learn that it can’t have innovation without production. The US still is far from devising concrete solutions, such as strong R&D credits for corporations, but the character of the national debate has changed decisively.