competition

Trade News: U.S. Competitiveness Throughout the 20th Century and Beyond

From U.S. DOC: A Timeline of Out Compete-ing. The 20th century was a period of extraordinary performance in the United States. Americans were living longer and more fruitful lives. They were better-educated than past generations and residents of other countries. The United States was out-innovating, out-educating, out-connecting, and out-producing the rest of the world, assisted by ground-breaking research and federal funding. Life expectancy was higher than it had ever been, more than 70 percent of teenagers were enrolled in secondary education, and in 1986 the United States comprised 25.2 percent of the world’s economy.

50 years later, these innovations are still major parts of American lives. The 21st Century has seen huge surges in information infrastructure. As the capacity and usage of the Internet began to grow in the 1990s, the need for better interfaces for sifting through all the information led to early search engines like Yahoo! and later Google, Inc. who are both supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grants.

The turn of the century also witnessed incredible advances in medicine and science. In 2003, the Human Genome Project consortium released the sequence of the human genome, and the knowledge this consortium provides will revolutionize diagnoses, treatment, and hopefully even prevention in the of number of diseases.

Also from DOC: Commerce Department Releases COMPETES Report: A Roadmap for Strengthening U.S. Competitiveness.  The U.S Department of Commerce today delivered to Congress a comprehensive report on “The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States.”  The report makes three important findings:

  • Federal investments in research, education and infrastructure were critical building blocks for American economic competitiveness, business expansion and job creation in the last century;
  • Failures to properly invest in, and have comprehensive strategies for, those areas have eroded America’s competitive position; and,
  • In a constrained budgetary environment, prioritizing support for these pillars are imperative for America’s economic future and provide a strong return on investment for the U.S. taxpayer.

The full report, as well as additional resources, can be found online at www.commerce.gov/competes.

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