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History Shows How Private Labels and Self-Preferencing Help Consumers

History Shows How Private Labels and Self-Preferencing Help Consumers

Private label products have been important for consumers and the economy since the 19th century because retailers can sell them at lower prices with greater efficiency than brand-name alternatives. Legislation that prevents retailers from putting their own products front and center—either online or on store shelves—would jeopardize those benefits.

Why Congress Should Restore Full Expensing for Investments in Equipment and Research and Development

Why Congress Should Restore Full Expensing for Investments in Equipment and Research and Development

The tax law allowing firms to fully expense their research and development (R&D) costs expired at the end of 2021, and full expensing of equipment costs will begin phasing out in 2023. This decreases firms’ incentive to invest in these key drivers of economic growth and competitiveness. Congress should restore and make permanent full expensing for these investments.

How to Mitigate the Damage From China’s Unfair Trade Practices by Giving USITC Power to Make Them Less Profitable

How to Mitigate the Damage From China’s Unfair Trade Practices by Giving USITC Power to Make Them Less Profitable

Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act allows the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to bar imports when domestic industries suffer harm due to unfair competition. Congress should expand the law to better address the unfair trade practices China uses to capture market share in advanced industries at America’s expense.

The Transatlantic Subnational Innovation Competitiveness Index

The Transatlantic Subnational Innovation Competitiveness Index

Innovation ecosystems are increasingly complex and diverse, but there are common markers of core strength. In this report, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the German Economic Institute, the Institute for Competitiveness, and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute benchmark 96 states and regions across Germany, Italy, the United States, and Canada.

The Effect of International Proposals for Monitoring Obligations on End-To-End Encryption

The Effect of International Proposals for Monitoring Obligations on End-To-End Encryption

European and U.S. policymakers have proposed imposing monitoring obligations on Internet intermediaries to improve online safety. Despite their best efforts, these proposals risk undermining users’ privacy by eliminating the use of end-to-end encryption. Therefore, policymakers should not pursue them.

Consumers Are the Ones Who End Up Paying for Sending-Party-Pays Mandates

Consumers Are the Ones Who End Up Paying for Sending-Party-Pays Mandates

Policymakers in some nations want edge companies such as Netflix to pay a larger share of broadband infrastructure costs. These “sending-party-pays” policies would harm Internet users, disproportionately tax U.S. tech companies, and fail to deliver infrastructure improvements.

Living Online Is a Societal Phase, Not a Dangerous Addiction

Living Online Is a Societal Phase, Not a Dangerous Addiction

Defending Digital Series, No. 11: The intensive use of technology is often a practical requirement. It’s also much more like earlier enthusiasms for radio, movies, and television than addictions like drugs, alcohol, or tobacco; it should be governed as such.

With Customer Satisfaction at a New Low, Federal Agencies Still Fail to Measure It Well or Provide Enough Digital Services

With Customer Satisfaction at a New Low, Federal Agencies Still Fail to Measure It Well or Provide Enough Digital Services

The Biden administration has made improving customer experience (CX) a top priority for federal agencies. That hinges on providing robust digital services. But agencies are behind in digital adoption, and they don’t do enough to measure CX via digital platforms, much less to improve.

Climate-Tech to Watch: Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Climate-Tech to Watch: Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will play the most significant role in meeting President Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050, but significant progress must be made to scale up production and bring down costs.

How to Address Political Speech on Social Media in the United States

How to Address Political Speech on Social Media in the United States

Policymakers could improve content moderation on social media by building international consensus on content moderation guidelines, providing more resources to address state-sponsored disinformation, and increasing transparency in content moderation decisions.

The Process of Creative Destruction, Illustrated: The US Retail Industry

The Process of Creative Destruction, Illustrated: The US Retail Industry

The process of “creative destruction,” whereby new technologies and business models displace old ones, is key to growth and innovation. The evolution of the retail industry illustrates why it is beneficial and sheds light on the pitfalls of current legislative and regulatory efforts to limit it.

Inequality Has Been the Price of Winning in Big Tech; That’s Changing

Inequality Has Been the Price of Winning in Big Tech; That’s Changing

Defending Digital Series, No. 10: The unique economics of the Internet have enabled the creation of vast riches for today’s Big Tech winners. But as societal priorities and business opportunities shift to the physical world and the tech industry matures, inequalities in wealth and income are likely to narrow.

Decarbonizing the Chemical Industry: Policy Insights From a Case Study of PVC

Decarbonizing the Chemical Industry: Policy Insights From a Case Study of PVC

A recent first-of-its-kind study of the value chain for polyvinyl chloride production in the United States provides valuable insights into the types and sequencing of policies that will be required to decarbonize chemical production.

Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Spectrum Windfalls

Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Spectrum Windfalls

Many attempts to increase the flexibility of wireless spectrum rights meet objections that the method of reallocation will result in a windfall for corporate license holders. Far from being objectionable, however, allowing windfalls in spectrum reallocation creates virtuous incentives.

Hydrogen Hubs Selection: Developing an Effective, Transparent, Fair, and Timely Process

Hydrogen Hubs Selection: Developing an Effective, Transparent, Fair, and Timely Process

The federal hydrogen hubs program will be perceived as a bellwether for U.S. clean energy innovation policy writ large. As such, its process for selecting winning proposals must not only be effective, but also fair, transparent, and timely.

How the IT Sector Powers the US Economy

How the IT Sector Powers the US Economy

The information technology (IT) sector makes an outsized contribution to the U.S. economy as a leading exporter that creates high-paying jobs, including for non-college-educated workers, while producing highly innovative products and services that drive broad-based growth, counteract inflation, and improve people’s quality of life.

How the EU Is Using Technology Standards as a Protectionist Tool In Its Quest for Cybersovereignty

How the EU Is Using Technology Standards as a Protectionist Tool In Its Quest for Cybersovereignty

Europe professes to want greater transatlantic digital cooperation, yet it is systemically excluding U.S. firms from participating in its technical standards-setting processes. A real transatlantic digital alliance requires real EU-U.S. cooperation on technical standards.

A New Frontier: Sustaining U.S. High-Performance Computing Leadership in an Exascale Era

A New Frontier: Sustaining U.S. High-Performance Computing Leadership in an Exascale Era

Continued leadership in high-performance computing (HPC) as it enters the exascale era remains a key pillar of U.S. industrial competitiveness, economic power, and national security readiness. Policymakers need to sustain investments in HPC applications, infrastructure, and skills to keep America at the leading edge.

The Hydrogen Hubs Conundrum: How to Fund an Ecosystem

The Hydrogen Hubs Conundrum: How to Fund an Ecosystem

Recent federal legislation provides $8 billion to develop at least four hydrogen hubs, but little guidance. DOE should focus its funding on the capital costs of hydrogen production and infrastructure, while generally eschewing operating expenses and support for end users.

How Policymakers Can Thwart the Rise of Fake Reviews

How Policymakers Can Thwart the Rise of Fake Reviews

As businesses compete for customers in the digital economy, some use deceptive tactics to manipulate consumer reviews about their goods or services, or those of their competitors, including by posting fake reviews. These fake reviews can damage honest companies’ reputation and deceive consumers into purchasing goods or services of substandard quality.

Five Principles for Spectrum Policy: A Primer for Policymakers

Five Principles for Spectrum Policy: A Primer for Policymakers

Spectrum policy takes engineering and technical realities as inputs to a decision-making process that is driven by normative principles. While many competing principles have had their heyday, these five are enduring guides to making spectrum work in the public interest.

Now Can We Stop Saying It’s Social Media That’s Polarizing America?

Now Can We Stop Saying It’s Social Media That’s Polarizing America?

Defending Digital Series, No. 9: The events at Mar-a-Lago and President Biden’s September 1 address to the nation demonstrate what has been clear all along. Compared to the many issues that divide Americans today, social media is a very minor factor. Policymakers should focus less on extremist language and more on clarifying what behavior is legal and what is not.

Reforming the UK Online Safety Bill to Protect Legal Free Expression and Anonymity

Reforming the UK Online Safety Bill to Protect Legal Free Expression and Anonymity

The Online Safety Bill’s loose definition of what constitutes “legal but harmful” content, overbroad scope, and general legislative overreach encroach on the civil liberties of all users—not just those in the United Kingdom.

The Digital Markets Act: A Triumph of Regulation Over Innovation

The Digital Markets Act: A Triumph of Regulation Over Innovation

The Digital Markets Act presents three fundamental challenges as it nears adoption: First, it will increase regulatory fragmentation. Second, its disproportionate blanket obligations and prohibitions will be economically detrimental and legally controversial. Third, it will be difficult to implement, as some of its provisions clash with other European regulations.

Maintaining a Light-Touch Approach to Data Protection in the United States

Maintaining a Light-Touch Approach to Data Protection in the United States

Data privacy regulations impose significant costs on businesses and the economy. Effective, targeted federal legislation would address actual privacy harms while reducing costs that hinder productivity and innovation.

Closing the Data Divide for a More Equitable US Digital Economy

Closing the Data Divide for a More Equitable US Digital Economy

In the United States, access to many public and private services, including those in the financial, educational, and health care sectors, are intricately linked to data. But adequate data is not collected equitably from all Americans.

Mission, Money, and Process Makeover: How Federal Procurement Can Catalyze Clean Energy Investment and Innovation

Mission, Money, and Process Makeover: How Federal Procurement Can Catalyze Clean Energy Investment and Innovation

Using federal procurement to advance sustainable energy goals has had only limited success in the past. To break the pattern, the White House needs a plan that aligns with agency missions, is adequately funded, and fixes perverse budget and procurement rules.

Closing the Gap: Priorities for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building RD&D Portfolio

Closing the Gap: Priorities for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building RD&D Portfolio

The building sector is not on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Federal RD&D investments have been disproportionately low, while national strategies that address the key hurdles of decarbonizing the building sector have been lacking.

Hi-Tech Diversity Is a Societal Goal, Not an Industry Scandal

Hi-Tech Diversity Is a Societal Goal, Not an Industry Scandal

“Defending Digital” Series, No. 8: Every industry and every profession has faced the challenge of developing a workforce that looks more like America itself. A steady flow of talent from leading universities remains the key to overcoming long-standing barriers and stereotypes.

US AI Policy Report Card

US AI Policy Report Card

The 117th Congress was the most AI-focused congressional session in history with 130 AI bills proposed, so it is a good moment to take stock of U.S. AI policy accomplishments to date and identify areas where there is room for continued progress.

How Japan Squandered Its Biopharmaceutical Competitiveness: A Cautionary Tale

How Japan Squandered Its Biopharmaceutical Competitiveness: A Cautionary Tale

Stringent drug price controls have significantly hampered the competitive and innovative capacity of Japan’s biopharmaceutical industry in recent decades, serving as a warning for U.S. policymakers considering introducing Medicare Part D drug price controls in 2022.

Apples vs. Oranges: Why Providing Broadband in the United States Costs More Than in Europe

Apples vs. Oranges: Why Providing Broadband in the United States Costs More Than in Europe

Comparisons between U.S. and European broadband prices abound, but their respective markets are built on such entirely different cost structures as to make any comparison between the two meaningless without accounting for the differences in necessary expenditures.

The Hamilton Index: Assessing National Performance in the Competition for Advanced Industries

The Hamilton Index: Assessing National Performance in the Competition for Advanced Industries

Compared to major competitors, U.S. output in key advanced industries is weak and declining. Congress and the administration should launch an economic “moon shot” initiative committing to increase the concentration of these industries in the U.S. economy by at least 20 percentage points relative to the global average within a decade.

Is the United States Really One of the Most Competitive Economies in the World? No.

Is the United States Really One
    of the Most Competitive Economies
    in the World? No.

The United States has consistently ranked near the top of international competitiveness rankings. But these reports are largely meaningless in measuring actual international competitiveness, providing policymakers a false sense of optimism about America’s position.

The North American Subnational Innovation Competitiveness Index

The North American Subnational Innovation Competitiveness Index

The North American innovation ecosystem is increasingly diverse. In collaboration with Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Fundación IDEA, and the Bay Area Economic Council Institute, ITIF compiled this index to identify economic differences among states and provinces and highlight regions needing more federal attention, identify cross-national innovation performance, and track the continent’s overall competitiveness in the innovation-driven global economy.

Spectrum Sharing: Holy Grail or False Hope?

Spectrum Sharing: Holy Grail or False Hope?

To some, spectrum sharing is an innovative necessity. To others, it is a recipe for wasting valuable bandwidth. The truth is more nuanced. The spectrum-sharing landscape is marked with promising ideas and technologies that require further investment to be generalizable solutions.

No One Talks About Too Much Automation Anymore

No One Talks About Too Much Automation Anymore

“Defending Digital” Series, No. 7: Remember all those breathless warnings that artificial intelligence would soon eliminate a wide range of “routine” jobs? So far, pretty much the opposite has occurred. Given today’s widespread worker shortages, corrosive inflation, and vast societal challenges, America clearly needs all the automation it can get.

The Revised (But Uncorrected) Version of the Klobuchar Bill

The Revised (But Uncorrected) Version of the Klobuchar Bill

The revised version of the Klobuchar bill (S.2992), aimed at prohibiting a few large tech companies from self-preferencing their services and forcing them to grant their rivals access to vital proprietary assets, fails to correct the critical deficiencies of the bill’s original version. This report provides a legal analysis of the new, yet uncorrected, pitfalls of the Klobuchar bill.

The Power of Big Tech Peaked During the Pandemic; Disruptive Forces Are on the Rise

The Power of Big Tech Peaked  During the Pandemic; Disruptive  Forces Are on the Rise

“Defending Digital Series,” No. 6: Big Tech was essential in getting America through the Covid19 pandemic, but during the 2020s and ‘30s, technological, competitive, and societal shifts can be expected to rein in the influence of today’s digital leaders, as consumer markets mature, and as other national and international priorities take center stage.

Federal IT Modernization Needs a Strategy and More Money

Federal IT Modernization Needs a Strategy and More Money

Despite a plethora of legislation, executive mandates, and other policy guidance to modernize aging federal IT infrastructure, agencies still need access to dedicated IT funding channels with more money and an overarching IT strategy to help guide them in how they fund IT initiatives.

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