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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.