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This paper examines the challenges that the manufacturing sector has faced over the last half century—focusing on both long- and short-term performance. It first examines whether there is evidence that this sector is in long-term decline. The paper also investigates how the industry has responded to specific shocks during this period—from exchange-rate movements, trade liberalization and business cycles. It finds little evidence of long-term decline. Rather, it describes how manufacturing has adapted to varying challenges, whether from demand shifts due to business cycles, relative price shifts associated with exchange rate shocks or changes in tariff regimes.
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