ITIF

Congress should simplify the corporate tax code while expanding provisions that incentivize investments in R&D, workforce training, and capital equipment and machinery.

Congress should simplify the corporate tax code while expanding provisions that incentivize investments in R&D, workforce training, and capital equipment and machinery. In particular, Congress should transform the Alternative Simplified Credit for R&D into an American Investment Tax Credit that allows expenditures in excess of 50 percent of base calculation on R&D, workforce training, and capital expenditures to qualify for a tax credit of 20 percent. However, Congress should make companies’ ability to receive the full 20 percent credit contingent on some portion of resulting production occurring in the United States. In addition, Congress should expand the collaborative R&D tax credit to cover more sectors beyond energy.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy must have regulations based in science that should be frequently updated to take into account the lessons gained from experience.

Reform the U.S. regulatory system. Regulations must be based in science and should be frequently updated to take into account the lessons gained from experience. The system should not seek zero risk as this is unattainable in the real world. Regulatory review should seek to establish that novel products are as safe as others in the marketplace. In making this evaluation regulators must take into account both the harms caused by present practices as well as opportunity costs, the potential benefits that would be lost by non-adoption. The degree of regulation should be commensurate with real risks and harms.

In lieu of international carbon targets, countries should agree to meet gradually increasing government clean energy RD&D investment intensity (RD&D/GDP) targets.

As an alternative to carbon targets, let’s create government clean energy RD&D (research, development, and demonstration)investment intensity targets that countries can sign up for in lieu of agreeing to cap carbon emissions. In doing so, world leaders would effectively boost investments in the front-end of clean energy innovation—an area of significant concern and underfunding—thus spurring the development of the very technologies all countries, rich and poor, need to drastically reduce emissions without ongoing expensive subsidies.

The FCC should expand the scope of its broadband performance study to wireless networks.

The current study, "Measuring Broadband America," is wireline only, but fixed wireless broadband and mobile broadband should also be measured.

The FCC should publish broadband performance data on a six month basis.

The data provided the FCC's "Measuring Broadband America" report will become more useful as it is taken again and again so that trend lines can be constructed; the FCC should sample performance every six months.

Congress should pass the Electronic Consumers Right to Know Act (S. 1029), also known as the e-KNOW Act.

Intelligent technology could revolutionize the way we distribute and consume energy. But to harness these benefits requires a key ingredient: consumer access to data, including historical usage and real time information on consumption and current prices, in machine-readable formats they can share with authorized third parties to facilitate energy control and choice. However, many states lag in requiring consumer access, and utilities won’t act unless pushed. These problems lead to a fragmented market that present a challenge to broad innovation and broad-based consumer empowerment, when in reality innovation would be much better served by a single, uniform market with clear national standards. To that end, the Electronic Consumers Right to Know Act (S. 1029), also called the e-KNOW Act and sponsored by Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Scott Brown (R-MA), ensures that consumers and their authorized third parties are able to access and employ this data to make informed choices about how they use energy.

The Administration should increase the royalty rate on drilling activities, and these revenues should be dedicated to a clean energy innovation trust fund.

Just a five percentage point increase in the offshore royalty rate could produce an additional $2 billion in revenues—and potentially much more—in the coming years. Current rates are below those in many other industrialized countries, and increasing royalty rates would enable the United States to harness the economic value of fossil fuel reserves for direct clean energy investment. The Administration should move forward with a royalty rate increase soon, while Congress should create a trust fund to ensure new revenues from drilling are dedicated to clean energy innovation.

The Administration needs a comprehensive national manufacturing strategy for the U.S. to create a competitive environment for manufacturing firms of all sizes to flourish.

Having a national manufacturing strategy means designing the nation’s business, regulatory, and innovation policy environments to make the United States the world’s most attractive location for R&D and business investment in manufacturing (including foreign direct investment). A national manufacturing strategy would include a coherent set of policies based on the four T’s: technology, tax, trade, and talent. It would play an important role in aligning federal programs designed to assist U.S. manufacturers. The strategy should also explicitly support public-private partnerships designed to help strengthen the connection between research and commercialization and to help firms “bridge the gap” between transforming technologies developed in universities and federal laboratories into commercializable products. Having a manufacturing strategy is simply a way for the United States to understand what it needs to do—whether it’s why the United States needs to cut the effective corporate tax rate, reduce regulatory red tape, expand research funding—to help its manufacturers become more productive and innovative.

The White House should create an Inter-agency Administration Task Force to identify cases where U.S. foreign aid acts as a mercantilist enabler.

Create an Administration inter-agency taskforce that includes the State Department, US AID, Commerce, USTR, Justice, Labor, and other agencies as appropriate that works to identify cases where U.S. foreign aid policy acts as a mercantilist enabler. Such a taskforce should recommend specific actions, including tying U.S. foreign aid to reduction of other countries’ mercantilist practices using formal and informal diplomacy, and pursuing trade enforcement actions. The task force should also issue an annual notice of inquiry to allow interested parties to report foreign mercantilist practices adversely affecting U.S. economic competitiveness.

The Administration should create a one-stop website portal for business registration in the United States.

The Administration should task the Federal CIO with redesigning business.gov and undertaking a strategic design review of the federal and state small business registration process, redesigning it to create an integrated business registration Website encompassing both federal and state requirements and contemplating the entire lifecycle of needs for small business start-ups, thus creating a one-stop shop for business registration in the United States. In addition to federal requirements, the portal would incorporate all states’ business registration requirements into an integrated one-stop system. The registrant would need only to visit a single Website to register his or her business both with the Federal government and the relevant state government. The redesigned business registration process would also contemplate the entire lifecycle of needs and concerns for the small businesses. For example, it would bring information forward to the registrant about whether there are loan programs the business is eligible for, such as relevant Small Business Administration (SBA) or Economic Development Agency (EDA) loans, or information about lines of credit from local commercial lenders.
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