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04 October 2015

America`s biggest competitor isn`t China

If you ask Americans who their country`s biggest competitor is, many people will tell you China. In a 2012 poll, two-thirds of Americans said they saw China as a competitor of the US, rather than a partner or an enemy. It`s clear why Americans think this. Turn on the TV, and it`s not hard to find a politician or pundit talking about America`s failure to deal with the China challenge Donald Trump in particular. But is China really the competitive threat that Trump and others claim? A new comprehensive report from the World Economic Forum that looks at the competitiveness of 140 countries shows this is actually far from the truth. What`s more, America`s biggest competitors are countries that Americans are not really worrying about. The report defines competitiveness as a set of institutions, policies and factors that determine how productive an economy is basically, the raw materials necessary to ensure a country can grow and improve the lives of its people, from good schools and hospitals to stable banks and support for innovation. By these measures, the US economy looks very good. The report ranks the US third in global competitiveness, behind Switzerland and Singapore. Next is Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden, the UK and then Canada. China is way down the list at 28th, behind Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and others. So who is America`s biggest competitor, really? Judging from the report, the best candidate might be Germany, which climbe d one position last year to rank 4th. Germany has sophisticated and innovative businesses and a highly trained and skilled labour force that can really compete with American companies and workers. The other thing that people might find surprising is just how well the US ranks in this report. Despite Trump`s exhortations to `Make American great again, the country still looks pretty good, at least compared to other places in the world.
America`s biggest competitor isn`t China epaper.dawn.com
By arrangement with Washington Post-Bloomberg News Service