The world does not stand still regardless of how fast American manufacturing grows. Japan’s share of global output rose from approximately 11 percent in 1980 to just over 20 percent within about a decade and a half. Yet Japan’s share subsequently shrank to 9.7 percent by 2012. When Japan’s proportion was at its highest, China began to expand manufacturing production relentlessly. From a low of about 3.4 percent two decades ago, it rose continuously to reach over 22 percent in 2012.
Is the United States still the largest manufacturing nation? Both the World Bank’s data, shown in the figure 39, as well as the United Nations statistics, shown in figure 38, confirm that China comes on top with a share of about 22 percent in 2012.
China has exceeded the U.S.’s share in global output around 2009. China’s value added manufacturing share is expanding at a rapid pace while other economies seem to be stagnating or even declining. The U.S. holds the number two spot with a 17.4 percent share compared to China’s number one spot with a 22.4 percent share. Since 2000, the U.S. share has declined by 41 percent while China’s share has grown 210 percent.