Council attempts to shape the debate on competitiveness by bringing together business, labor, academic and government leaders to evaluate economic challenges and opportunities. 99
Much of business input into the impact of U.S. policy on business interests seems to be done through trade associations, labor unions, special interest groups, and various lobbying efforts. The administration also has formal private sector advisory committees, particularly for international trade policy. The United States Trade Representative, for example, has advisory committees dealing with trade policy and negotiations and trade and the environment plus committees representing labor, agriculture, and industry.
In Europe, the European Union requires that all major European Commission initiatives contain an Impact Assessment. Such assessments contain an evaluation of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of various policy options associated with a proposal. The EC encourages estimates to be expressed in qualitative, quantitative, and, where appropriate, monetary terms, although in practice, most assessments are based on surveys of business. 100
In Sweden, the Board of Swedish Industry and Commerce for Better Regulation (NNR) is an independent, non-partisan organization funded entirely by its members. The membership consists of the 14 largest Swedish business organizations and trade associations with a combined membership of some 300,000 companies. The principal focus of the NNR is regulatory simplification and a more business-friendly environment, not only in Sweden but also in the European Union. One of its principal tasks is to coordinate the business sector’s scrutiny of Impact Assessments by the EU and to negotiate with regulatory agencies during the evaluation of the costs and benefits of a new regulation. 101
International business supply chains provide the structure for the new world of globalized business. Much of U.S. international trade is conducted by globalized supply chains. For public policy, supply chains affect the magnitude of impact for fiscal stimulus packages and also the incidence of trade policy. Supply chains also are affected by the range of policies that have an impact on the competitiveness of U.S. business. Whether taxes, environmental regulations, labor policy, or shipping security, business supply chains are directly affected by changes in the business environment, whether in the domestic or foreign markets. In the world of globalized supply chains, a policy aimed at imports, may actually hit U.S. parented supply chains as well as foreign companies and countries.
The fracturing of business into core and non-core competencies and into domestic and foreign segments of supply chains implies that what had been purely domestic economic and regulatory policy now may affect the operations of U.S. parented supply chains abroad, and what had been
For information on the Council on Competitiveness, see [http://www.compete.org/].
Elsie Echeverri-Carroll and Sofia G. Ayala, "Regulation and Competitiveness of U.S. Businesses: Is it time for a Competitiveness Impact Statement?," The University Of Texas At Austin, 2008.