Advocates argue that urban manufacturing holds potential to promote locally distinctive enterprises, quality employment and more socially-inclusive forms of urban development. However, little is known how urban policy actually supports manufacturing. This paper documents the policy response to urban manufacturing in the U.S. and Australia. We determine how policy documents conceptualise manufacturing and define goals and strategy around land use, business development and workforce development. The analysis demonstrates that manufacturing policy is situated between entrenched visions of deindustrialisation and emerging notions of a renewed, advanced manufacturing sector and that most cities struggle to address the inherent challenges of this condition.