CEOs Give ‘Average’ Grade to U.S. Performance in Competitiveness Race

America’s top CEO’s, labor leaders, university presidents, and national lab directors expressed concern at the ongoing policies that are preventing the nation from reaching its full potential to compete globally. Like a high‐IQ student who doesn’t apply himself, U.S. policies earned grades ranging from A to F. This call-to-­action forum is held annually by the Council on Competitiveness, a Washington, DC non-partisan organization. It measures key policy areas – technology, investment, infrastructure, and talent.

“America’s position as the global leader in innovation faces more challenges than ever before,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, President & CEO, Council on Competitiveness. “While we continue to make incremental progress, immediate action is needed to ensure that U.S. innovation outpaces others in the global marketplace and that our economy continues to prosper.”

“Our country’s policies are very uneven and for U.S. corporations that creates a difficult environment to invest in research and development and to innovate,” said Samuel R. Allen, Chairman and CEO, Deere & Company. “We need to wake up and tackle immigration and double the investment in federal research. Our nation’s prosperity is at stake.” Mr. Allen also serves as the Council’s Chairman.

The report card is published annually at the end of the year and released at the National Competitiveness Forum. The mediocre grades will hopefully spur on policy changes and could be the basis for future events with the Senate Competitiveness Caucus co-chaired by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KN) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). Launched earlier this year, the caucus was formed in partnership with the Council.

Other CEOs attending the forum include Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel and Keith Nosbusch of Rockwell Automation.

The report card grades – and its policy recommendations – come at an important time in Washington, DC. The Federal Reserve is looking to raise interest rates and the Presidential campaigns are heating up. The report’s “call to action” offers a roadmap for policymakers to promote future economic prosperity.


The Council on Competitiveness is the only group of corporate CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and directors of national laboratories committed to the future prosperity of all Americans and enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the global economy through the creation of high-value economic activity in the United States. The Council is a non-partisan and non-governmental organization. Learn more about the Council here or view the full list of publications here. Check out the Council on Competiveness’ Facebook page for further updates or follow @competenow on Twitter.