Since World War II, Americans have demonstrated an unwavering, bipartisan commitment
to U.S. leadership in technology - building our future on common ground.
Technological leadership is a key ingredient in President Clinton's economic strategy.
It is no accident that industries that grew from federal investments -- in agriculture, aeronautics,
computers, biotechnology, and medical devices, to name a few -- dominate world markets today.
Indeed, over the past 50 years, innovation has been responsible for as much as half of the
Nations's economic growth.
Yet, today, America's technological future is at stake. To balance
the budget, Congress has proposed to slow federal R&D spending by a third over the
next seven years and eliminate or severely cut critical industry-led technology programs that are
working to ensure America's technological future. The President's balanced-budget maintains these
Meanwhile, the importance of technology to global competitiveness
increases. A recent Census study confirmed that companies that use advanced
technologies are more productive and profitable, pay higher wages, offer more
secure jobs, increase employment, grow more rapidly, and are more likely to
export than those that do not.
This is exactly the wrong time to cut investment in R&D. Japan
currently invests 35% more in than the U.S. on a per capita basis in civilian
technology; and Germany invests 30% more. And, Japan plans to double
the country's R&D spending by 2000. Premier U.S. high-tech companies
continue to reduce long- term R&D investments, instead focusing on short
term product commercialization.
Industry-led, cost-shared R&D programs work for the American
people. American business, faced with brutal and relentless foreign
competition, cannot be expected to devote sufficient resources to long-term,
high-risk R&D whose benefits are difficult for any single firm to capture.
Instead, American business and the government must work together to leverage
their resources and ensure adequate investment in the technologies that will
sustain and fuel future economic growth and job creation.
Congressional attacks on technology don't stop at civilian technology;
they threaten public health, public safety, the environment, and education.
The Republican plan makes extreme cuts into research to ensure food
safety, improve air traffic control, understand environmental change, and to
advance educational technologies. By doing so they take direct aim at the
Administration's efforts to improve the lives of Americans.
President Clinton's vision--and the technology efforts for which he is
fighting-- represents the common ground on which this Nation's future will be
built. That is why his balanced-budget proposal will best sustain the future of
Laura Tyson, Chairwoman of the National Economic Council, speaks on the topic of
building future prosperity through advancing technology.