[Excerpt] America’s manufacturing crisis has hit Washington State hard. Since January 2001, Washington has experienced heavy job losses in manufacturing and information technology industries—sectors that typically provide higher wages and good benefits. As the discussion that follows shows, plant closures and layoffs associated with foreign imports and offshore outsourcing are a major cause of manufacturing’s decline in Washington State.
Several factors account for manufacturing job loss in Washington and elsewhere, but there is little evidence about the role any single factor plays. Yet identifying causes and measuring their effects is important: Understanding the role of current policies in manufacturing job loss can help shape reasoned and reasonable changes that will maintain American competitiveness while creating and preserving good jobs in America.