Competitiveness

Innovation, including the diffusion of information technology throughout the economy, is key to boosting productivity, which in turn is at the heart of increasing living standards.

Building the Global Innovation Economy

April 17, 2013
| Presentations

ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell presented on the importance of the global innovation and competitiveness race at the 2013 Crisis, Cooperation, and Change within the Global Landscape Conference.

President Obama’s Budget Enhances Innovation and American Competitiveness

WASHINGTON (April 10, 2013) – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) praised President Barack Obama for focusing on long term investments in research, development and innovation in his annual budget message to Congress.

“Innovation is central to revitalizing our economy, enhancing American competitiveness and boosting job growth and quality of life,” notes Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF. “The President has proposed a series of initiatives, backed by significant government investment, which will greatly improve our national innovation infrastructure. Read more »

President Obama’s Budget Promotes Innovation but More Work Needs to be Done

April 10, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Overall, the President’s budget proposal does create a stronger innovation framework that can assist in improving economic development and overall societal health. However, we do call on Congress and the administration to specifically address the above mentioned areas of need as they proceed with negotiations.

STGlobal Consortium

April 6, 2013
| Presentations

ITIF president Rob Atkinson will deliver the keynote address at the STGlobal Conference. STGlobal Consortium is an international, interdisciplinary organization of leading graduate programs in science and technology policy (STP) and science and technology studies (STS). Its mission is to inspire and challenge graduate students to contribute to the forefront of research on science and technology policy and social issues, and to foster mutual understanding in the S&T community.

Register Now.

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.

Congress should create a United States Economic Competitiveness Commission.

One step Congress could take to bolster U.S. traded sector competitiveness would be to create a 13-member United States Economic Competitiveness Commission, which would release a report every other year providing an independent assessment of the competitiveness of the U.S. economy (particularly its traded sectors, including but not limited to manufacturing) in the global marketplace. The report would offer targeted recommendations to improve U.S. competitiveness across key economic sectors. Senate and House Republican and Democrat leaders would each appoint three members and the Administration one member.

Congress should create a new traded sector analysis unit within the federal government.

There is no entity in the federal government tasked with performing competitiveness analysis. The statistical agencies see their job as accumulating facts; not analyzing them. To remedy this, Congress should task the National Institute of Standards and Technology with the creation of a new traded sector analysis unit which prioritizes interpretation and analysis over collection and aggregation. This new entity should have two core functions. The first would be to regularly assess important aspects of overall U.S. traded sector competitiveness (e.g., trends in FDI, growth of traded sector jobs and output, changes in global market share of U.S. traded sectors, etc.). The second would be to focus on select traded sectors that are critical to the United States’ economic future (sectors where the United States has some competitive edge and where value added and wages are higher than average) and develop strategic road maps (by coordinating with DoD, DoE, NSF, and industry leaders) of how the federal government can promote the competitiveness of these sectors.

Congress should restore funding for the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS’s International Labor Comparisons program adjusts foreign data to a common framework, allowing one to compare the traded sector health and competitiveness of the United States against that of other countries. The ILC data provides complete and comparable time series for extremely useful indicators including manufacturing output, hours, compensation, and productivity, as well as labor force, employment, price, and industry statistics. Funding for the ILC program was terminated by the 2013 sequestration, yet this data is critical to understanding U.S. economic competitiveness, and should be restored by Congress immediately.

Congress should streamline regulatory compliance procedures for companies.

The length of time and amount of money businesses must spend navigating the complex regulatory permitting process is a serious disincentive to invest in traded sector industries in the United States. The Department of Commerce should establish a one-stop shop to help companies navigate the complex U.S. regulatory framework and expedite the permitting process. It should also develop an online “Turbo Regulation” application that allows companies to complete the required “paperwork” in an easy to fill out Web form over the Internet.
Syndicate content