The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 19, 2006

Fact Sheet: The American Competitiveness Initiative: A Commitment to Education, Research, and Innovation

      American Competitiveness Initiative

Today, President Bush Discussed His American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) - A Strategy To Keep America The Most Innovative And Competitive Economy In The World. The ACI will encourage more aggressive investment by businesses in research and development, increase Federal support for vital basic research, and improve math and science education for America's students.

Making The Research And Development (R&D) Tax Credit Permanent

Tax Credits Give Businesses The Incentive To Invest More Aggressively In Research And Development. The private sector spends about $200 billion each year on R&D - two-thirds of all R&D spending in America. Incentives will ensure American businesses continue bringing cutting-edge products and services to the global market, helping America to compete with other countries that give tax incentives for R&D, including China, Japan, India, Korea, and Canada.

The R&D Tax Credit Must Be Made Permanent. The R&D tax credit allows businesses to deduct part of their R&D investments from their taxes, but this tax credit has been allowed to expire in the past. To help our businesses invest and stay ahead of the competition, we need more certainty in our tax code. The President is also committed to working with Congress to modernize the credit to make it even more effective and efficient at encouraging private sector innovation.

Increasing Federal Support For Vital Basic Research

President Bush Is Doubling The Federal Commitment To The Most Critical Basic Research Programs In Physical Sciences Over The Next Ten Years. This increased funding will encourage scientists to explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.

Improving Math And Science Education For America's Students

Through Testing, Schools Are Held Accountable For Student Performance Under No Child Left Behind. We are starting to see improvements in the performance of elementary school students on the Nation's Report Card, also called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to the NAEP, minority students are making progress, and the achievement gap between minority and white students is narrowing.

American Students Must Succeed In Math And Science At All Levels To Compete In The Global Economy. By the time our students reach high school, they have fallen behind most of the developed world in math and science. We need to set high standards so our children can compete and succeed in the global economy.

Giving Students The Opportunity To Receive Advanced Skills And Training

Pell Grants Ensure Low-Income Students Have The Opportunity For Higher Education. The Administration is providing Pell Grants to more than 5 million students in the 2005-2006 school year. Around 1 million students have been added to the Pell Grant program since the President took office. The maximum Pell Grant has been increased from $3,750 to $4,050.

Two New Grant Programs Further Reward Students Who Succeed At A Rigorous Curriculum. Since 2004, the President has called for enhanced Pell Grants for students who take a rigorous curriculum. Congress this year passed legislation providing $4.5 billion in new grant funding over the next five years for students receiving Pell Grants. Academic Competitiveness Grants and SMART Grants will encourage States to toughen their high school curricula and provide incentives to students who aim high.

Making A Commitment To Education, Research, And Innovation Today Will Drive Our Economy Forward, Make America More Competitive, And Build A Better And More Prosperous Country For The Next Generation

America's Economy Is Leading The World. The American economy grew 3.5 percent last year, faster than other major industrialized nations. More than 5.2 million new jobs have been created since August 2003 - more new jobs than Japan and the 25 nations of the European Union combined.

The Unemployment Rate Is 4.7 Percent. This is lower than the average of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Real After-Tax Income Is Up More Than 8 Percent Per American Since 2001.

American Workers Are Among The Most Productive Workers In The World. Productivity is a key measure of competitiveness. Over the past five years, productivity growth has been the fastest in nearly four decades. When productivity grows, it leads to higher incomes and higher standards of living.

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