AeA recommendations

Today’s AeA’s report on U.S. competitiveness offers two tiers of public-policy recommendations, ranked in order of priority.

The first tier suggests immediate changes that already have been introduced in various bills and appear to have widespread bipartisan support. The second tier is more challenging, having generally not yet been introduced as legislation, or having the same degree of bipartisan support. Nonetheless, the group describes these longer-range measures as “equally critical” to long-term American competitiveness.

1st Tier Recommendations:

  • Dramatic improvements in U.S. education
    • Improve K-12 math and science instruction
    • Sustain, strengthen, and reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act
    • Promote undergraduate and graduate science, technology, engineering, and math education
    • Create a Human Capital Investment Tax Credit to promote continuous education
  • Support and increase research and development
    • Increase federal funding for physical science, engineering, math, and computer science basic research through the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense
    • Strengthen the R&D tax credit and make it permanent
  • Enact High-skilled visa reform
    • Lower barriers for high-skilled individuals to get temporary work visas
    • Give green cards to all U.S.-educated master and doctoral students

2nd Tier Recommendations:

  • Create a more business-friendly environment in the U.S.
    • Reduce the “onerous and disproportionate” tax that small- and medium-size companies incur by complying with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    • Address rising health-care costs through initiatives such as electronic medical records
    • Fully fund the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reduce lag time between patent filing and approval
  • Engage proactively in the global trade system
    • Advance free and fair trade policies and agreements and conclude the Doha Round of global trade talks
    • Renew the President’s trade promotion authority
    • Promote stronger worldwide enforcement of intellectual property protection
  • Promote broadband diffusion
    • Offer industry incentives to promote broadband diffusion
    • Ensure affordable broadband access for every American within five years

A parting thought from the report:

“When one of America’s strongest competitive advantages in the global marketplace is a knowledge-based economy, it does not bode well for the future when the United States neglects the infrastructure that supports its wealth creation.”

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