Advanced industries are those that develop innovative solutions to market problems. When matched with labor skills, education, business clusters and progressive policies spur exports and employment at a levels unseen in other industries. A report by the Brookings Institution finds that advanced industries only account for 9% of employment but accounts for 60% of exports and 17% of Gross Domestic Product.
The development of products requires a level of innovation where research, skill, investment, and industry come together to create an exportable product. Many of the county's strongest industries are clustered in metro areas which make it possible to rejuvenate these areas while still strengthening the nation. We can see this example in places like Detroit and San Jose California.
As to date national economic policy has not been focused on developing hubs and clusters that are better able to meet market needs and push the nation even further ahead of the competition. There have been some movement in that direction but not enough pro cluster policies have made their way into public debate and government policy.
America's strength relies on its ability to lead the market with new products. Without offering a competitive advantage such as a highly innovative industries there is less reason to invest in the U.S. when production costs are cheaper in emerging nations. Market leaders are not as influenced by costs as copy cat market followers.
It would be wise to consider other supporting literature that confirms Brookings Institution's findings and consider incorporating such ideas into policy making. Focusing on advanced clusters in cities that have appropriate core competencies and infrastructure can raise the U.S. from a net importer to a net export. Doing so across multiple hubs and clusters can create sustainable growth.
Brookings Institution (Februrary 3rd, 2015). Americas Advanced Industries. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports2/2015/02/03-advanced-industries#/M10420