Think Tank Calls for a Federal Department of Competitiveness

January 23, 2012

The federal government is faced with two fundamental challenges — how to decrease spending and how to increase competitiveness. One solution from think tank Center for American Progress is to create a new Department of Competitiveness.

"The idea here is to take more than 3,000 federal programs and put them together so they work better for businesses, communities and universities, and do a better job to give regional economies what they need to really become competitive in a global economy," said Jonathan Sallet, former planning director at the Commerce Department and now a partner with the law firm O'Melveny and Myers. Sallet is the co-author of the center's report.

A Department of Competitiveness would fold in functions currently in the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration. Such an idea was the core of President Obama's request from Congress earlier this month for the power to merge agencies. The President suggested combining six agencies. 

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