A Competitiveness Strategy for the United States

November 7, 2015

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 The United States is losing an economic competition against other nations whose mercantilist strategies are destroying our manufacturing jobs, critical industries, our standard of living, our national security, the security of our food supply and our children’s futures. 

The threat to the US economy and national security is grave. Other trading nations are using comprehensive strategies to import jobs across all economic sectors but are particularly focused on strategically significant technologies and industries.  US companies in these sectors face not only wide ranging mercantilist practices and non-tariff trade barriers such as currency manipulation, tariffs and subsidies but also much more sophisticated and specific strategies aimed at identifying, acquiring or otherwise controlling critical technologies.  Tactics used include unusually large direct and indirect subsidies, joint ventures—with both corporations and US universities-- requiring transfer or licensing of technology, corporate acquisitions and, for certain countries, systematic theft of intellectual property.

We have a choice: 

The United States can continue to allow anything mined, manufactured, grown or serviced to be outsourced to countries with predatory trade policies.  And by so doing, leave the United States

· dependent on foreign, sometimes adversarial, sources for critical components of military systems and equipment

· shut out of the industries of the future that create wealth and opportunity, and

· with ballooning foreign debt, unacceptably slow growth and significant underemployment, fewer good paying jobs and growing income inequality


The United States can re-assert itself as a great manufacturing and producing nation with a rising standard of living for all. We can develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that retains and reinforces our leadership in innovation, locates investment and production in the United States and raises employment by creating good paying jobs.


Win the international competition for good jobs, sustained real economic growth and prosperity with a national strategy to counter foreign mercantilism, balance trade and grow strong domestic supply chains.


1. Identify and counter foreign mercantilist strategies that grow their economies at the expense of other countries through achieving a persistent trade surplus 

1.1 End both currency exchange rate imbalances and the accumulation of excessive US dollar holdings by non-US public and private entities.

1.2 Impose offsetting tariffs to neutralize foreign government subsidies to industries and supply chains that compete with ours.

1.3 Counter foreign government policies that force offshoring by conditioning access to their markets on transfers of technology, research facilities and/or production to their countries, as well as compliance with export performance and domestic content requirements, while their exporters have access to US markets without these conditions.

1.4 Ensure that foreign greenfield investments in the US and acquisitions of existing US companies provide a clear “net benefit” to the US with special scrutiny in cases of state influenced foreign entities.

1.5 Protect US food security from foreign government tactics to seize markets.

2. Balance Trade

2.1 Offset cumulative trade deficits of recent decades and excessive accumulations of dollar reserves through sustained trade surplus to ultimately achieve a long term overall trade balance.

2.2 Insure that the composition of trade includes a substantial trade surplus in high value added and advanced manufactured  goods. 

2.3 Make the US workforce more cost competitive by promoting fair pay, rising living standards and safe working conditions for workers everywhere.

2.4 Reduce US producers’ trade disadvantage through tax reform which finances the reduction of payroll taxes and health insurance costs with a border adjustable consumption tax in a revenue and distribution neutral manner.

2.5 Lower corporate tax rates and end corporate inversion and profit shifting tax avoidance by taxing the income of unitary business groups, whether domestic or foreign, based upon proportion of global sales in the US.

3. Grow Domestic Supply Chains

3.1 Preserve and develop domestic manufacturing and agricultural supply chains to maximize value added production in the US.

3.2 Develop, build and maintain a world class land, water, air, communications and energy infrastructure.

3.3 Safeguard our military strength and national security by insuring that critical technologies, weapons & IT components are developed and manufactured in America by American controlled companies.

3.4 Develop, commercialize and retain strategic and economically significant advanced technologies and grow their manufacturing supply chains in the US.

3.5 Increase public support for, and incentives for private investment in, basic and applied research, infra-technologies and new product and process technologies.

3.6 Continually raise the competitiveness of American workers by improving and making Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education available at all levels, systematically enhancing lifelong learning for existing workers, and fostering a national system of apprenticeship and paid internships through collaborative public-private endeavors that are connected to actual opportunities in the labor market.

3.7 Raise the competitiveness of small and medium sized domestic enterprises by increasing long term private sector financing, the sharing of research on common issues and the diffusion of new technologies and production methods.

3.8 Preserve our right to adopt and enforce domestic policies that insure the quality of our food and goods, and protect the health, safety and general welfare of our citizens without restrictions from international trade agreements.

3.9 Ensure that domestic manufacturing and agriculture benefit fully from an expanded supply of low cost US produced energy.


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