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Bolstering America's Competitive Spirit

Location: Washington, DC

Bolstering America's Competitive Spirit

The Internet and other exciting new technologies have made our world better. Access to more information is providing people all over the world with more educational and economic opportunities. This is certainly true in the United States. But with this has come increased competition and serious challenges. Here in the U.S. we must work harder than ever to maintain our competitive edge.

Today, foreign companies and inventors account for nearly half of all U.S. patents. By 2010, more than 90 percent of all scientists and engineers could be living in Asia. Current 12th grade students perform below the international average on general math and science tests, and the number of engineering degrees awarded in the U.S. has declined by 20 percent since 1985. This is a major challenge but America must keep pace by ensuring we have a skilled workforce that can compete in the world marketplace.

Earlier this week, I introduced the Innovation and Competitiveness Act to promote and expand critical research and development, improve math and science education, and promote health information technology. This Act will also reduce overly burdensome regulations. By cutting out the red tape, we can create an environment more conducive to innovation by American businesses and entrepreneurs. Additionally, this legislation reforms our legal system to protect innocent citizens and companies from frivolous lawsuit abuse.

The Innovation and Competitiveness Act promotes research and development so that American businesses have the tools to stay competitive in a changing and expanding global marketplace. We must ensure a dynamic environment that spurs the development of innovative products and services, creates high-wage American jobs, and promotes a vibrant economy.

And to fill those high-wage American jobs, we need applicants with strong math and science skills that will further enhance American ingenuity. To do this, we need to start in our schools and this Act places more emphasis on math and science education. We need to show American students that our nation values and rewards the contributions of our scientists and researchers and provide them with opportunities to succeed in this area. To reach the goal of a smarter, faster and more efficient America, we need to invest in our future now.

This Act also creates and expands incentives for access and efficiency in health care. Everyday we are seeing new and exciting breakthroughs emerge from research labs and hospitals that will greatly improve the health care system. This emerging technology carries cost-saving benefits for patients and businesses alike. We must take advantage of these promising innovations to increase the accuracy, efficiency and quality of our health care system.

The Innovation and Competitiveness Act is a consensus piece of legislation to get Congress engaged in promoting innovation in America. It's time for us to take action to ensure America's competitive spirit is not lost.

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