Political: One major trend in the political element of the global manufacturing is a renewed emphasis on manufacturing as a driver of economic development in the United States (Chatfield 2014). The administration of President Obama has funded several initiatives to raise awareness and to improve the state of the manufacturing sector in the US. These initiatives have included manufacturing consortiums or hubs of private business, public officials and researchers who focus on a particular promising technology. Some of these are:
The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, Ohio
The Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute at North Carolina State University
The Lightweight and Modern Metals Innovation Institute in Detroit Michigan
The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute in Chicago Illinois
The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation which oversees general manufacturing research
These institutes serve as centers for research and development of manufacturing innovation and are helping to increase the profile and the respect for manufacturing as a profession while advancing the technologies in use.
Another trend in the political element is seen in the changes in global trade negotiations. Currently there are several multi-country trade negotiations in progress which exclude the United States (Moutray 2015), such as:
The Regional Comprehensive Economy Partnership between 16 Asian & Oceanic nations. This would bring together about 45% of the world’s population with a combined GDP of $21.3 trillion;
The Eurasian Economic Union between countries in northern Eurasia such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. The EEU would create a market with a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion;
The Union of South American Nations, where 12 countries seek to join the Andean Community of Nations with MERCOSUR into a single customs union with a combined GDP of 4.1 trillion;
The African Free Trade Zone,...