The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States
U.S. Department of Commerce and National Economic Council

This report of the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Economic Council Congress addresses the economic competitiveness and innovative capacity of the United States.It covers a diverse array of topics and policy options, including: tax policy; the general business climate in the U.S.; regional issues such as the role of state and local governments in higher education; barriers to setting up new firms; trade policy, including export promotion; the effectiveness of Federal research and development policy; intellectual property regimes in the U.S.and abroad; the health of the manufacturing sector; and science and technology education.

The key to our success – as it has always been – will be to compete by developing new products, by generating new industries, by maintaining our role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation. It’s absolutely essential to our future.

— President Barack Obama, November 17, 2010

The U.S. economy was preeminent in the 20th century: the largest, most productive, and most competitive in the world.  New products were invented and sold, the workforce was the most educated in the world, and soaring incomes supported a large and thriving middle class.

Today, the U.S. economy remains the largest in the world.  However, the United States has arrived at an important moment with regard to its competitive future; the country is now faced with the tremendous opportunities and challenges of competing in an increasingly interconnected world.  U.S. citizens have been hit by stagnating job growth and falling incomes, while businesses have faced increasing global competition.

The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States starts by exploring some areas of concern, and by taking a look at how the United States has made key investments in the past to support competitiveness and innovation.

Watch an introduction video from Commerce Secretary John Bryson

Read the full report.

Explore the individual topics.