The thing that can help the US get an equal footing with the rest of the world in manufacturing starts by practicing the same exact practice that has helped those companies overseas. Government subsidies for keeping jobs here. I know, I know, the tea party would never support the government opening their wallets to subsidize the cost to private industry. But that is the reality of the competition the US is facing. In China, the government will pay for half or all of the costs of building plants, thereby allowing newer manufacturers to start profiting immediately without having to pay the starting costs of a mortgage or other expenses. The US simply cannot compete with that type of environment.
The one advantage that could save billions on this type of plan is that right now the US has gobs of buildings and plants sitting empty that could be reconfigures for pennies on the dollar versus building new. The government could make promises to manufacturers to cover the costs of those rebuilds and then simply hand over the buildings to any company willing to go into them and hire workers to create. The cost savings to those companies would be such that we wouldn't have to worry about lowering salaries or fighting off unions. Given the fact that most of the goods created get sold in the US, the advantage of shipping costs and import fees would disappear and the US would once again take over the world in manufacturing.
It costs money to make money, and the revenues earned in income taxes by successful manufacturing companies coupled with the government savings on less welfare and medicaid expenses of newly employed people, would more than make up for the expense of these subsidies. It needs to have happened yesterday.