Sixty-eight percent of America's wealth is generated by manufacturing. If the United States hopes to continue to maintain a position of prestige and remain competitive in the global economy, it must have a strong manufacturing sector.
What has been done to maintain the competitive position of the United States as a major manufacturing nation? Unfortunately, it would appear too little has been done. While spending about $150 billion per year on research and development — more than the U.K., France and lapan combined — the United States has not paid sufficient attention to manufacturing and technology transfer. The National Science Foundation spends only 13 percent of its budget on engineering and only 1.2 percent on manufacturing. In Germany, 30 percent of the research funding goes to engineering and 15 percent to manufacturing. The U. S. Department of Commerce has only five government-run technology centers while Japan has 170 government-run technology centers bringing new manufacturing techniques to business.
In terms of scientific research, the United States has done very well. About one third of the world's scientific papers are produced by the United States. The nearest competitors are the United Kingdom with 8.2 percent, Japan with 7.7 percent and the former Soviet Union with 7.6 percent. Almost 50 percent of all references cited in other scientific papers are American; the nearest competitors are all below 10 percent.
Some of the problems of American industry can be illustrated by a few examples:
The number of hours it takes to build an automobile in the United States has increased; in
Japan it has decreased (by 60 percent between the years 1970 and 1981 alone).
It now takes half as much time to assemble a Toyota as to assemble a General Motors automobile.
It took nine years for the United States to go from research to production of Numerically Controlled (NC) machine tools; in Japan it took only two years.
Typical Japanese machine tool accuracy and repeatability are better than that of equivalent U.S. machines.
The use of robots in the United States lags behind other industrialized nations:
Former Soviet Union 62,000
United States 37,000
The Japanese use five times more Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) than the United States.
What would the author probably suggest in the section that follows this passage?
A．The U.S. should reduce the time needed to assemble an automobile.
B．Achievement of world class manufacturing is essential to the U. S..
C．The U.S. should take pride in her scientific research.
D．Japan is the leader in technology transfer.