Opinions and Editorials

Mar. 7, 2018

Real Clear Policy: Time for a New Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, by James Edwards

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s newly released global ranking of patent systemstrength shows the U.S. patent system has slipped to 12th place in 2018, down from 10th last year. Before 2017, the United States held the top spot. This is new terrain for America, as the U.S. had previously always enjoyed the strongest patent system in the world.

As President Reagan’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness reported in 1985, America’s technological innovation is “a mainstay” — the key to our competitiveness. The commission acknowledged, in particular, the central role of patents and IP to America’s maintenance and growth of a vibrant, manufacturing-centered U.S. industrial base. The weakening of our patent system and secure private property rights risks the red, white, and blue goose that lays golden eggs. As the industrial competitiveness commission pointed out, “innovation spurs new industries and revives mature ones.”