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U.S. Manufacturing Summit kicks off in Florida

national retail federationThe two-day U.S. Manufacturing Summit began in Florida on Thursday, bringing together 1,500 government and business leaders to discuss the importance of domestic manufacturing and how best to capitalize on the potential of American sourcing.

Speakers at the event included U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and the governors of eight states.

National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said the event is a “testament to the importance the retail industry plays in America.”

“Domestic sourcing creates good paying careers for American workers who will spend more in our stores, benefiting retailers large and small,” Shay said. “By bringing together retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and key government officials, we can jointly identify areas of opportunity that will help to drive a renewal of American manufacturing. It’s already happening, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that productivity in manufacturing has risen 2.2 percent over the past year, though wages have stagnated or shrank. At the same time, labor unrest and rising wages in China have led to an increase in the cost of labor, making the U.S. an attractive area for building and manufacturing, MSNBC reports.

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