The past year brought blockbuster headlines for U.S. manufacturing. Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn unveiled plans to build a $10 billion assembly plant in Wisconsin that would make liquid-crystal display panels and employ as many as 13,000 people. Automakers Mazda and Toyota selected Huntsville, AL, as the site of a new joint-venture assembly plant. The $1.6 billion factory will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually and create up to 4,000 jobs. Spirit AeroSystems announced a $1 billion expansion that will bring 1,000 new jobs to its assembly plant in Wichita, KS. The five-year expansion calls for hiring 800 new employees by the end of 2018 and 200 more the following year.
The government helped, too. In December 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. The largest shake-up to the federal tax code in more than 30 years, the law includes myriad changes that will benefit manufacturers. Among other things, the law reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent and repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax. The law also allows companies to immediately expense the full cost of capital equipment, and it maintains the R&D tax credit.