Re-organizing Federal Policy-making to Boost US Competitiveness

By Nkiru Uzodi*

A recent report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) warns that the US government lacks concrete long-term plans on how to increase the country’s global competitiveness. Entitled A Focus on Competitiveness: Restructuring Policymaking for Resultsit cites evidence that the U.S. is falling behind in productivity, scientific literacy, workforce development, technology funding, infrastructure investment, and attractiveness to investment capital and makes recommendations on how the country can get back on top.

According to the report, the government has been so distracted by the recession that it has neglected to develop coordinated policy mechanisms to confront the complexities of the 21st century global market. CAP believes this is a myopic approach and advises that greater attention be paid to both domestic deficiencies as well as global competition so that the country can prosper in the long-term.

Furthermore, CAP urges the U.S. government to conduct a “horizon scan” which would entail thinking ahead and identifying potential challenges when making plans.  The report makes two broad recommendations.  First, the executive branch must take steps to promote long-term strategic planning.  Part of this would entail the President creating a panel that would undertake a competitiveness assessment and setting up a task force that would monitor progress. Second, the executive branch should be re-organized and streamlined. CAP suggests that business- and trade-related agencies in the executive branch be merged to reduce the problem of fragmentation. To read the full report, click here.

*Nkiru Uzodi is a Research and Programs Intern with the National Council for Research on Women.



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