U.S. Competitiveness: Beyond the Trade Deficit

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Science  15 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4863, pp. 299-307
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4863.299


Large trade deficits and the corresponding increase in U.S. international indebtedness have raised concerns about the long-run competitiveness of the United States. But being competitive requires more than balance in our foreign trade; it requires an improving standard of living. The long-term U.S. competitive problem is largely caused by low saving rates, high costs of capital, and the resulting inadequate level of both visible and invisible investment. As long as the U.S. national saving rate remains far below that of all our major competitor nations, there is little chance for restoring America's international economic position.