The United States still holds a substantial overall lead in AI, but China has continued to reduce the gap in some important areas and the EU continues to fall behind.
For America to remain the global leader in IT, the U.S. government must formulate a grand strategy grounded in a new doctrine of “digital realpolitik.” The first priority should be advancing U.S. interests by spreading the U.S. digital innovation policy system and constraining digital adversaries, especially China. This will entail working with allies when possible—and pressuring them when necessary.
If Washington wants to show voters that government is doing something more than simply saying no or being ideologically dug in, then lawmakers and the administration should work to advance a set of actionable technology policy measures that would grow the U.S. economy.
Understanding how Germany manipulated the global trading system to degrade its adversaries’ capabilities, entrap nations as reluctant allies, and build up its own industries for commercial and military advantage—just as China is doing—can shed light and point the way for solutions to the China challenge.
When it comes to federal investment in science, the free-marketers’ argument that the private sector can and will do most of the heavy lifting and that government can let federal support for R&D stagnate or even shrink is mistaken.
The next production revolution will be a boon for a global economy that is sputtering and experiencing lagging growth and investment. This new technology wave should lead to a virtuous cycle of increased investment, higher productivity, more spending, and more investment.
Policies that support renewable energy technologies also drive innovation in complementary technologies for energy storage, grid efficiency, and fast-ramping combustion. Public R&D funding has the most consistent impact and should be increased.
Antitrust advocates allege market-leading “superstar” firms—particularly in digital industries—succeed through anticompetitive conduct. But evidence shows they outperform competitors by investing in innovative technologies and global operations that create more value.
Innovation in renewable energy technologies, tapping solar, wind, geothermal, and water resources, could unlock massive decarbonization opportunities. But it will not happen without increased, sustained, and well-targeted federal investments.
SCCs are a widely used legal tool to transfer personal data out of the EU, but courts and regulators are making them costlier and more complex. This is a sign of Europe’s march toward de facto data localization—a threat to transatlantic digital trade that policymakers must avoid.
Augmented reality (AR) amplifies some of the most pressing privacy concerns for bystanders in the digital world and combines them in new ways. Policymakers should develop safeguards that allow for shifting perceptions of privacy in public space.
Fearmongers claim the 5G sky is falling: China is way ahead, and drastic measures are needed to catch up. But these claims are often based on poorly understood comparisons of 5G deployment. China’s 5G stats can paint a misleading picture if taken at face value.
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield’s demise affects thousands of firms that relied on it to transfer data. Policymakers should realize the enormous trade and innovation stakes involved—both bilateral and global—and build an improved framework for data protection and digital trade.
With protectionist policies shielding their rear flank domestically, China’s digital firms are out to capture global market share. Their strategy hinges on state-backed innovation mercantilism—and their success will come at the cost of U.S. jobs, exports, and economic growth.
The United States has an imbalanced portfolio of high-performance computing resources that is failing to meet growing demand among artificial intelligence researchers. To fill the gaps, Congress should authorize at least $10 billion over the next five years for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.
A key component to any national advanced industry strategy—and one that should receive welcome bipartisan agreement—should be to help all 50 states expand their state development strategies and better align them to the overall mission of outcompeting China.
Some advocates are willing to take extreme steps to transform the U.S. broadband system, because they claim we require universal broadband networks capable of gigabit-per-second speeds. This is not true.
A recent majority staff report summarizing the findings of a yearlong House Antitrust Subcommittee investigation into competition in digital markets is filled with analytical errors that highlight larger problems with the report’s basic framing and policy conclusions.
China’s subsidy-aided rise to dominance in PV manufacturing has driven prices way down, but at the cost of undermining promising alternative technological pathways. Policymakers should adopt measures to sustain greater diversity in PV and similar technologies.
Many countries rightly seek to maximize their value added in the global semiconductor industry. But like-minded allied nations can also advance their leadership collectively by collaborating on technology and ecosystem development, intellectual property, and trade liberalization.
The U.S. government should triple its annual investment in energy innovation over the next five years to speed clean energy transitions around the world and build advanced-energy industries at home.
Recent advances in gene editing offer promising opportunities to mitigate emissions from agriculture and other sectors, and to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Governments should accelerate the development and deployment of these solutions.
China will likely be the biggest business disruptor of the 2020s, but the discussion about how to respond has yet to take shape. A strategic framework should rebalance the global supply chains, bolster competitiveness, adjust to China’s market size, and solidify the West’s appeal.
What happened? How did America go from the world’s leader to not even an also-ran in the span of just two decades? Equally troubling, why did no one sound the alarm bell when there was still time for action?
With nearly three dozen new additions, the latest update of ITIF’s “Tech Policy To-Do List” provides a menu of hundreds of actionable ideas for Congress and the administration to foster innovation, growth, and progress.
If the United States is serious about maintaining its leadership in biopharmaceuticals, then it’s time for policymakers to articulate and embrace a robust sectoral competitiveness strategy.
U.S. broadband networks weathered the COVID-19 surge in traffic better than most peer nations. The pandemic should galvanize policymakers to ensure broadband can serve as an essential lifeline for everyone, including low-income and rural residents.
COVID-19 has prompted calls for reshoring of medical goods, including strict “Buy American” prescriptions. While reshoring is important, “Buy American” fails to recognize the value of the global supply chain and avoids addressing the real problem, China.
5G wireless will drive economic growth for decades to come, but we need a comprehensive strategy to ensure a robust deployment and adoption of secure networks. A U.S. strategy for 5G should play to our strengths to overcome unfair practices that have made Huawei a leader.
Further stimulus in response to the COVID-19 crisis should focus not just on short-term recovery, but also the long-term competitiveness of key technologically sophisticated, traded-sector industries. Now is the time to recognize America needs a robust industrial strategy.
The federal government should take aggressive steps to spur the development of more tech hubs in America’s heartland by identifying promising metro areas and helping them transform into self-sustaining innovation centers.