The domestic automobile industry is an important element in innovation engine that is critical to prosperity in the U.S., suggests a new study from a Washington think tank.
America’s future depends on its ability to translate new ideas into investment, jobs, and long-term productivity growth, said Kent Hughes, director of the Science, Technology, America, and the Global Economy program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C., and one of the authors of the new study.
“In the debate over handling the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors,” he said, “the impact on innovation and the U.S. industrial base has been largely ignored.
“The auto sector – including its parts suppliers, engineers, and related services – is a key part of our innovation system that encompasses much more than the goal of producing new, fuel-efficient cars,” Hughes said.
“We need an even stronger industrial base so that we can pay our way in the world, instead of borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from China, Japan, Germany, and many oil-rich states. It is hard to envision America having the capacity to produce hundreds of billions of dollars of manufactured goods in the future without a strong, innovative automotive sector,” he said. (more…)