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Is America Losing Its Edge?

Courtesy Reuters

The United States' global primacy depends in large part on its ability to develop new technologies and industries faster than anyone else. For the last five decades, U.S. scientific innovation and technological entrepreneurship have ensured the country's economic prosperity and military power. It was Americans who invented and commercialized the semiconductor, the personal computer, and the Internet; other countries merely followed the U.S. lead.

Today, however, this technological edge-so long taken for granted-may be slipping, and the most serious challenge is coming from Asia. Through competitive tax policies, increased investment in research and development (R&D), and preferential policies for science and technology (S&T) personnel, Asian governments are improving the quality of their science and ensuring the exploitation of future innovations. The percentage of patents issued to and science journal articles published by scientists in China, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan is rising. Indian companies are quickly

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