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      - page 39 / 47

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Traffic Safety Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and their counterparts in China. 78

The U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Food Safety and Inspection Service also has developed guidelines for processors, retailers, wholesalers, and logistics providers involved in meat, poultry, and egg product supply chains.79 In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD) at the University of Minnesota. The NCFPD is a multidisciplinary and action-oriented research consortium charged with addressing the vulnerability of the nation's food system to attack through intentional contamination with biological or chemical agents. The program takes a comprehensive, farm-to-table view of the food system and examines all aspects of the system from primary production through transportation and food processing to retail and food service.80

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The ability of American firms to compete in the global marketplace, depends partly on the availability of skilled workers and managers. Also, rapid advances in science and technology are a continual challenge to the scientific and technical proficiency of the U.S. workforce.81 For policymakers, the issue centers on (1) whether U.S. public education adequately prepares young people for the realities of the marketplace; (2) whether the system prepares enough students to pursue rigorous programs of study in science and technology; (3) whether U.S. education and other institutions promote innovation sufficiently for the United States to remain at the forefront of scientific and technological advances; (4) whether sufficient opportunity is provided for adults to be retrained and retooled; and (5) the extent to which companies may rely on foreign workers for certain jobs.

The analysis of these issues is beyond the purview of this report. Congress has recently addressed some of these issues in the context of the nation’s science and technology (S&T) workforce.82 A premise in promoting a better-trained and equipped S&T workforce is that such workers are essential in generating new ideas and technology that can lead to new business opportunities and jobs for the domestic economy. Another premise is that for high-technology firms to locate operations in the United States, there must be S&T savvy employees to work in the companies. The 110th Congress passed the America Competes Act (P.L. 110-69) to address concerns regarding the science and technology workforce and education. Other issues considered included demographic trends and the future S&T talent pool, the current S&T workforce and changing workforce needs, and the influence of foreign S&T students and workers on the U.S. S&T workforce.

78 CRS Report RS22713, Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview, by Wayne M. Morrison.

79

See http://www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/index.asp.

80

See http://www.ncfpd.umn.edu/index.cfm.

81 See CRS Report RL34539, The U.S. Science and Technology Workforce, by Deborah D. Stine and Christine M. Matthews.

82

H.R. 2272 (110th Congress), America Competes Act (P.L. 110-69).

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