Innovation and competition are vital to U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century, said AMDChairman and Chief Executive Officer Hector Ruiz in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform today.
"Here's the bottom line: You can't have competitiveness without competition," said Ruiz. "All the investment, research and specialized education in the world won't amount to a growing, dynamic economy without competition."
Ruiz continued, "Competition is the heart and soul of innovation. It's what drives us to turn innovation into real advantages for consumers and citizens. That's the key to U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century, and we have a responsibility to ensure that no one is sheltered from it."
In his testimony, Ruiz outlined three keys to enhancing U.S. competitiveness. "First, fair and open competition is essential to our country's competitiveness. Second, government procurement practices should act as a model for fair competition -- obtaining the best possible technology for the lowest possible cost on behalf of taxpayers. And finally, investment in K-12 education is the best way to make sure that we have a competitive society -- not just competitive economic sectors."
Citing the results of a recent AMD-commissioned study by R. Preston McAfee, J. Stanley Johnson Professor of Business, Economics and Management at the California Institute of Technology, Ruiz told Committee members that brand-name specifications in government procurement contracts for computer hardware have potentially cost American taxpayers upwards of $563 million. He asserted that the public sector should serve as an example of fair and open competition for the private sector, and that the U.S. government should adopt performance-based specifications in federal procurement contracts.
He also urged members of the Committee to invest in the future by improving the nation's public education system and promoting ongoing workforce training, increasing federal investment in basic research and development, making the research and development tax credit permanent, and building a public policy infrastructure that encourages and supports innovation in both the public and private sector.
Ruiz called upon leaders in the private sector to form collaborative partnerships with other leaders in business, government and academia around the world to advance these goals. He pointed to AMD's groundbreaking 50x15 initiative, a commitment to empower 50 percent of the world's population with affordable Internet access by the year 2015, as an example. Ruiz explained that America's future competitiveness is directly intertwined with the success of other nations. He said the United States should encourage other nations in their efforts to grow their economies and enhance their own competitiveness, because more competition will benefit all in the end.