Why the American Competitiveness Initiative Matters

By February 1, 2006Taking It for Granted

Blog-Icon-MI.jpgLast night, in the State of the Union Address, the President proposed a new American Competitiveness Initiative to spur federal support for basic research in the physical sciences, encourage bolder private sector R&D through a permanent R&D tax credit, boost support for math and science education and reform immigration. To some, this might sound like just an interesting amalgam of policy proposals. But for manufacturers, this is the first time in a long time, and maybe the first time ever, that the key elements of manufacturing’s future have been highlighted before a joint session of Congress so clearly and passionately. One of my favorite quotes in last night’s speech: “If we ensure that America’s children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.”

Now, if you need some proof that this agenda is critical to manufacturing’s future, you should read the report that The Manufacturing Institute and the NAM Council of Manufacturing Associations jointly issued today. It’s written by prominent economists Joel Popkin and Kathryn Kobe. Nearly a year in the making, U.S. Manufacturing Innovation at Risk, is a sobering look at how this country’s competitiveness edge might just be slipping away and, with it, strong economic growth and our high standard of living that we take for granted. We’ll blog later on the authors’ 5 clear warning signs that are blinking red.