Lately, I've been seeing an ad for Mitt Romney that claims that under President Barack Obama that China has increased its manufacturing output while the U.S. has decreased its manufacturing output.
While this technically true, the ad is very misleading. I checked the facts and I found that under Obama, the U.S. has decreased its portion of global manufacturing output from 18.5 percentage points in 2008 to 18.2 percentage points in 2010, while China went from 15.1 to 18.9 percent in the same period. So Obama's policies resulted in a .3 percentage point reduction in global manufacturing output for the U.S. Compare that to the policies of the Bush administration and we find that global manufacturing output went from 26 percent to 18.5 percent, a reduction of 7.5 percent; and China went from 8.3 percent to 15.1, an increase of nearly 7 percent of global output in the same period.
Looking at those statistics, one can see that under the Republican policies that Romney wants us to go back to, we sent approximately 7 percent of the world's manufacturing output from the U.S. to China during the Bush years. It is more than fair to say that since Obama took office we have held our own with China, which is a far cry from what the recent Romney ad claims.
Obama could not just put a complete stop to the Bush administration policies immediately upon taking office, so our manufacturing output continued to slip away in the first few months of the Obama administration. But his policies were eventually able to turn that around and we were able to gain global manufacturing output once again.
So the facts appear starkly different from the claims in the ad, but then, what do you expect from a campaign that vows it will not be cowed by fact checkers?