Department of Commerce

Allow companies participating in pre-competitive research to freely transfer ownership and access rights for IP to foundation affiliates across and between the European Union and the United States.

Allow companies participating in pre-competitive research to freely transfer ownership and access rights for IP to foundation affiliates across and between the European Union and the United States.

Change the name of the National Science Foundation to the National Science and Engineering Foundation.

If Congress wants to take a step short of standing up a new National Engineering and Innovation Foundation, then at the very least Congress should change the name of the National Science Foundation to the National Science and Engineering Foundation. Doing so would make it clear to NSF leadership and the research community that NSF should give engineering more emphasis and visibility. And Congress should shift more of the new NSEF’s funding toward engineering, even if this has to mean cutting science funding.

Congress should increase funding for key federal statistical agencies assessing traded sector competitiveness and create a national statistical agency.

It makes little sense to have separate economic statistical agencies; other nations combine theirs into national statistical agencies, and the United States should do the same. At the same time, years of budget constraints have caused U.S. statistical agencies to lack the resources needed to effectively measure key elements of the traded economy. There are numerous examples, including the following, which should be rectified through increased or restored funding: The International Labor Comparisons Program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which produces timely, high-quality international comparisons of labor force, productivity, hourly compensation, and prices for many industrialized countries, was terminated in the Administration’s FY 2013 budget; The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) no longer measures manufacturing foreign direct investment specifically and can’t distinguish between “greenfield” new plant investment in the United States and foreign purchases of existing U.S. establishments; BLS reporting of state level data on manufacturing property, plant, and equipment data ended in 2007; BLS lacks and needs to build an import price index so it can fix the productivity measurement problem with regard to imported manufacturing inputs; NSF needs to produce industrial R&D data in a timelier manner, as the most recent data is from 2008. It would also be helpful if the NSF data reported on three distinct components: scientific research, engineering research, and development; BEA should improve its existing annual surveys and five-year benchmark surveys of companies with facilities overseas to identify the type of products manufactured abroad and the number of employees at these facilities.