Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy [Updated March 2, 2006]   [open pdf - 91KB]

From the Summary: "There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Legislative activity over the past two decades has created a policy for technology development, albeit an ad hoc one. Because of the lack of consensus on the scope and direction of a national policy, Congress has taken an incremental approach aimed at creating new mechanisms to facilitate technological advancement in particular areas and making changes and improvements as necessary. […] Some legislative activity, beginning in the 104th Congress, has been directed at eliminating or significantly curtailing many of these federal efforts. Although this approach has not been adopted, the budgets for several programs have declined. Questions have been raised concerning the proper role of the federal government in technology development and the competitiveness of U.S. industry. As the 109th Congress continues to develop its budget priorities, how the government encourages technological progress in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB91132
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