Manufacturing in the United States should account for at least 20% of total employment, about twice its current percentage, says General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt.
In an address to the Economic Club of Detroit, Immelt proposed a renewal in American manufacturing, driven investment in new technology and research and development, innovations in clean energy and affordable health care.
There is nothing "predestined or inevitable about the industrial decline of the U.S., if we as a people are prepared to reverse it," he said.
"We would do much better to observe the example of China. They've been growing fast because they invest in technology and they make things. They have no intention of letting up in manufacturing in order to evolve into a service economy.
"They know where the money is and they aim to get there first," Immelt said. "America has to get back in that game."