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New Bipartisan Policy Center Report: Local Leaders Know What’s Critical for National Competitiveness

Washington, DC – In an era defined by dynamic global shifts, the Bipartisan Policy Center unveils new insights into the multifaceted landscape of national competitiveness in its latest report, Innovation Nation: Toward a Comprehensive Approach to Boosting U.S. Economic Competitiveness. Against the backdrop of mounting concerns over China’s ascendancy and in the wake of pandemic-induced supply chain vulnerabilities, BPC’s new research reflects the voices of local leaders across the country and underscores the urgency and complexity of revitalizing America’s competitive edge. 

National competitiveness has become a paramount bipartisan concern in recent years, both in the halls of Congress and in communities from coast to coast. In response, Washington has pursued a dual-track approach of restrictions and investments. Tariffs and export controls have gained traction as instruments of economic policy, reflecting a consensus on the need for assertive action. Simultaneously, there has been bipartisan momentum behind investments in infrastructure, albeit with some debate over how those investments are allocated. 

While policymakers grapple with these national strategies, the voices of everyday Americans illuminate a distinct perspective on competitiveness. Through a series of nationwide roundtables convened by BPC, leaders from diverse communities articulated their priorities and expectations from the federal government. Workforce development, from early education to skilled labor retention, emerged as a common thread, underlining the vital role of human capital in driving competitiveness. Additionally, infrastructure modernization and the efficacy of place-based policies emerged as focal points for community-driven initiatives. 

Beneath the surface lies an underappreciated, sometimes hidden, but no less important competitiveness agenda. BPC’s findings underscore the imperative of addressing foundational elements such as individual mental health and the burgeoning national debt. Extensive research affirms the intrinsic link of such issues to long-term American competitiveness, and policymakers should recognize this connection as they consider competitiveness. 

“This report underscores the complex nature of national competitiveness and the imperative for nuanced policy responses from Washington,” said BPC Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Dane Stangler. “As we navigate a challenging global landscape, it is essential to lift the voices of communities across America and prioritize holistic solutions that address both immediate issues and enduring structural barriers.” 

BPC remains committed to fostering informed dialogue and advancing pragmatic solutions that promote America’s competitiveness on the world stage. By bridging the divide between Washington’s corridors of power and Main Street’s vibrant communities, BPC seeks to chart a course toward a more resilient, inclusive, and globally competitive future. 

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