The history of America is a history of innovation. The people invented many of the tools that are staples of our households. From transportation to the internet, people in the United States have been at the forefront of technological change. In fact, U.S. technology serves as the very backbone of our national security, economic prosperity, and fundamental freedoms.
But America’s global leadership position in innovation is in jeopardy. Authoritarian countries such as China are determined to take the lead by stealing $500 billion in technology annually from the U.S. and investing heavily in a series of five-year plans to slice into our innovation edge. Meanwhile, Russia is not only an active threat to democracies across the globe, its cyberattacks cost U.S. businesses hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Yet instead of working together on bold investments to preserve America’s technological lead, some in Congress are pushing legislation that would slow the pace of innovation, make it more difficult for U.S. companies to compete in international markets, and threaten small businesses and vulnerable communities that have used the internet to thrive.
The public agrees that the threat to our leadership in innovation is real. More than 60% of voters believe that “Chinese companies will surpass American companies as the world’s technology leaders if we don’t do something soon,” a recent poll found. In addition, 81% of voters agree that “it is dangerous for the U.S. to fall behind countries like China, Russia, and Iran when it comes to technology.” As President Joe Biden recently warned , “China, before the year 2035, is going to own America because autocracies can make quick decisions.”
In response to this growing competitive dynamic, the American Edge Project partnered with a diverse set of stakeholder organizations to develop an economic policy agenda to put America on a path to maintain its leadership position in innovation.