The Eight Factors of American Competitiveness

America has momentous decisions to make. Extraordinary challenges and unprecedented opportunities shaped by an increasingly competitive global economy, shifting demographics, and expanding freedom are taking shape all around us. At the same time, alarming indicators and dangerous trends in our nation’s economy, governance, and politics are seriously impeding our progress and threaten America’s competitiveness position.

Fundamentally, competitiveness is about the following question: When entrepreneurs, corporate planners, and other job creators decide where to locate new facilities and jobs, as well as where to direct capital, what will motivate them to select the United States over an ever-growing list of appealing destinations? A starting point in understanding our competitive position is to identify the questions that job creators ask themselves in determining when, where, and how to take risks, invest capital, and create jobs in the United States versus the other places they can go.

From the wealth of research, surveys, and inputs on this topic, the decisive questions boil down to “the eight factors of American competitiveness.” 

  1. Will we have access to open, growing markets at home and abroad?
  2. Will the costs of doing business be reasonable and competitive?
  3. Will we, our suppliers, and our customers have reliable access to affordable capital?
  4. Will we have access to a properly skilled, agile, and competitively priced workforce?
  5. Will we be supported with modern infrastructure and a reliable energy supply to sustain business operations?
  6. Does the country have sound fiscal conditions and wise macro-economic policies?
  7. Does the country have transparent governance, a fair and efficient legal system, and stable civil society?
  8. Does the country offer a dynamic culture of innovation?