Our nation's ongoing competitiveness is key to our future prosperity. If future generations of Americans are to enjoy rising living standards, we need to ensure that American firms and workers continue to compete successfully in an increasingly globalized world.
Our new report, "A Focus on Competitiveness," published on December 1 , looks at how federal government currently organizes itself to develop policy to enhance U.S. competitiveness. We find significant room for improvement in two key respects. First, there is insufficient focus on developing a long-term strategy on competitiveness because of the urgency of current economic problems. Second, responsibility for competitiveness is diffuse in the United States. That is, we lack a strong department tasked with championing competitiveness.
We recommend that the president issue an executive order that commits the United States to a Quadrennial Competitiveness Assessment conducted by an independent National Academies panel. In addition, the president should issue a Biannual Competitiveness Strategy, and he should be advised by a new Competitiveness Advisory Panel drawn from business and other fields. Work on long-term competitiveness should be coordinated by a new deputy director in the National Economic Council.
We also believe there is a strong case for creating a new powerful department with lead responsibility for competitiveness issues in the administration, perhaps by combining agencies responsible for trade, commerce, science, higher education, and workforce development. We recommend further work by the National Academies on this.
We want to hear your views on our proposals on this blog. We also want to hear your views on the policy issues around competitiveness. Although our report does not cover that ground, we believe there needs to be a stronger strategic agenda on competitivenessand we want your input.
Today's discussion features guest commentaries from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Kevin Sharer, chairman and chief executive officer of Amgen. For the next two weeks, we'll post one new commentary a day from leading voices like Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T; Bruce Mehlman, former assistant secretary for commerce; and Laura Tyson, former chair of the National Economic Council.
Most importantly, we want to hear your viewsso please contribute to our online forum.
Sarah Rosen Wartell is the Executive Vice President and Jitinder Kohli is a Senior Fellow at American Progress.
This was a post on the Doing What Works project's competitiveness blog.
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