Manufacturing.net Rewind: A Sluggish Economy; U.S. Drone Makers Get Shut Out
Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from Chinese villagers attacking a factory to the Volkswagen incentives being threatened by the UAW.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the 4½ years since the Great Recession ended, millions of Americans who have gone without jobs or raises have found themselves wondering something about the economic recovery:
Is this as good as it gets?
It increasingly looks that way.
Two straight weak job reports have raised doubts about economists' predictions of breakout growth in 2014. The global economy is showing signs of slowing — again. Manufacturing has slumped. Fewer people are signing contracts to buy homes. Global stock markets have sunk as anxiety has gripped developing nations. Continue reading... 
BEIJING (AP) -- Villagers in southwestern China infuriated by a factory that was polluting the environment smashed its offices and equipment, and later clashed with police, underscoring the potential for such concerns to trigger violent unrest.
Residents of Baha, a village in Yunnan province, said Wednesday that police were arresting people involved in Friday's clash at the local police station. The official Xinhua News Agency said police had identified 16 suspects.
Three villagers reached by phone said they had grown increasingly angry over a local metalwork factory that had been coughing up black smoke and discharging polluted wastewater into the rural area. Continue reading... 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican lawmakers in Tennessee on Monday threatened that the state could turn off the spigot of incentives for Volkswagen if workers at the German automaker's plant decide this week to approve union representation.
State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Bo Watson in a news conference in Chattanooga called the United Auto Workers campaign at the plant "un-American."
"Should the workers at Volkswagen choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, any additional incentives from the citizens of the state of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate," he said. Continue reading... 
BEIJING (AP) -- The reaction was slow in coming, but financial markets and corporate bosses have been jolted awake to China's relentless growth decline and are scrambling to cope with wrenching changes in global business.
For the past decade, China poured money into building new factories, highways and apartment blocks. That propelled explosive growth at home and a flood of money to exporters of iron ore and other commodities such as Australia and Peru.
But now, Beijing has put the brakes on that boom. Like a captain turning a heavy ship in choppy seas, its leaders are trying to steer the world's second-largest economy away from reliance on investment and toward being a consumer society. Continue reading... 
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A federal judge is allowing families whose children have been among dozens sickened in a northern Ohio cancer cluster to move forward with a lawsuit against Whirlpool Corp. after dismissing some of the claims.
The families believe smokestacks from Whirlpool's huge washing machine plant in Clyde sent a chemical compound suspected of causing cancer into the neighborhoods of several children who were among the first diagnosed.
Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., has maintained that there is no scientific or medical fact to back up the allegations. Continue reading... 
SINGAPORE (AP) -- Military brass shopping at Asia's biggest defense expo this week have drones high on their to-buy list. But for U.S. manufacturers including General Atomics, which makes the Predator hunter-killer, there's one problem: they can only sell to a few countries because of tight export restrictions.
The controls give rival drone makers from countries such as Israel and China a chance to win more business in the growing global market for unmanned aerial vehicles, which one group forecasts to more than double in the next decade.
U.S. arms makers have been lobbying the government for several years to loosen the restrictions so they can sell their systems to more countries. They fear their established market is shrinking as domestic defense spending is squeezed and the U.S. military withdraws from Iraq and Afghanistan. Continue reading... 
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