Debating globalization and competitiveness

Yesterday there were two events on globalization and competitiveness:
• a hearing in the House Science Committee on American Decline or Renewal? – Globalizing Jobs and Technology; and,
• the Commerce Department’s 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness.
Both addressed similar issues from different perspectives — and very different perspectives on the issue of trade agreements. But, from my attempt to listen to the two webcasts simultaneously, it appeared that they both agreed that we need to raise the profile of the competitiveness issue in the national debate. They both also talked about the need for an overall policy on competitiveness (something that we don’t have now). I wish, however, the business leaders at the competitiveness summit would have stopped treating the trade issue as simply a PR problem and gotten to the real issues. By the way, my eyebrows went up when the Commerce Secretary said we have a “big budget” for trade adjustment assistance. Our worker adjustment system is woefully inadequate and underfunded.
More materials (including the archived webcasts) are available at links noted above.

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