The United States should endeavor to enhance its economic competitiveness by beefing up new investments in research, education and infrastructure, John Bryson, the country's Commerce Secretary, said here on Friday.
The government did not have all the answers to improving the U.S. economic competitiveness, but had an important role to play to bolster innovation and competitiveness, Bryson said at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank.
Federal investments in research, education and infrastructure were critical building blocks for American economic competitiveness, business expansion and job creation in the last century, Bryson said, as the Commerce Department delivered on Friday a report on "The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States" to Congress.
Failure to properly invest in those areas and a lack of comprehensive strategies for improving competitiveness in those areas have eroded U.S. competitive position, noted the report.
In a constrained budgetary environment, prioritizing support for these pillars were imperative for America's economic future and provide a strong return on investment for the U.S. taxpayers, said the department.
While private citizens and businesses were the top source of new ideas, the government played a key role in supporting their innovations. Federal funding should be increased for basic research including universities and research centers, suggested the report.
The department recommended a tax credit be extended for private- sector R&D to give companies appropriate incentives to innovate and improve the way basic research was transferred from the lab into commercial products.
The report stressed the importance of federal government investment in an expansive modern electrical grid that provides robust broadband Internet access in both urban and rural communities.
The United States had to invest in the 21st century modern infrastructure projects, Bryson stressed.
A flourishing manufacturing sector was crucial to U.S. competitive strength, economic growth and job creation, as manufacturing sector was the key source of innovation in the U.S. economy, noted the report.