SHAHEEN: WE MUST KEEP AMERICA INNOVATIVE AND COMPETITIVE

Addresses Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

February 11, 2011

(Hanover, N.H.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) spoke today about the importance of innovation in driving economic growth during keynote remarks at the Business and Society Conference at the Tuck School of Business.

During her remarks, Shaheen discussed how government can help foster an entrepreneurial business climate: boosting research and development, a well-educated work force, increasing exports, reducing the national debt, and a comprehensive energy strategy.

Shaheen, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, has been a long-time advocate of supporting innovation.

Some excerpts of her prepared remarks are below:

On innovation

"America's future is to be the global leader in science and technology. America makes the best, most innovative products and services, and that ingenuity and excellence is our chief economic strength as a nation.

On competitiveness

"The overarching challenge facing New Hampshire and the entire country is how we remain competitive in an increasingly global economy.  As a former small business owner, I know it is business, not government, that creates jobs, but I believe government has a critical role to play in fostering the positive business climate we need to remain competitive.

On Research and Development

"Even as science and technology have become increasingly important to our economic prosperity, the federal investment in research and development as a percentage of GDP has been declining. This is precisely the wrong way to go when success in the global economy depends on our ability to innovate and develop new technologies and industries.

On math and science education

"One of the advantages New Hampshire has over other states is our highly educated and skilled workforce, but clearly we need to dramatically improve math and science achievement in this country.  We must educate the scientists and engineers needed for cutting edge research, and we must train the skilled workforce for the new jobs in new industries that spring from this research.

On exporting

"We need to do a better job of opening international markets. I was an advocate for increased exporting when I was governor and I've continued that work in the Senate. We must recognize that 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the U.S., yet only one percent of small businesses export. There's tremendous room for growth.

On the national debt

"I've been working with a bipartisan group of senators who are committed to working on deficit reduction and comprehensive tax reform. And I try to always look out for wasteful programs.  I recently called for greater oversight of reconstruction funding in Afghanistan and Iraq, where there has been a lot of wasteful spending.  Addressing the long-term deficit will not be easy but we must do it if we want to remain an economic leader.

On energy

"We need a national energy policy. The world is on the verge of the most significant economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution.   This transformation will be built on a fundamental change in the way we produce and use energy.  Millions of new jobs will be created in alternative energy, energy efficiency and other forms of clean energy. 

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