NEW YORK — As the base of apparel manufacturing jobs in this city continues to dwindle, a growing number of think tanks and government agencies are turning to the question of what, if anything, can be done to save New York’s production base.

The same economic forces that are causing manufacturers of all sorts to move operations out of the U.S. and to countries abroad where costs are lower — particularly China — have contributed to the sharp contraction in New York manufacturing. But local makers face a number of other challenges, including high real estate costs in comparison with other parts of the country and, especially for manufacturers in Chinatown, the aftereffects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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