Enhancing Competitiveness Through Regional Cooperation

While certain regions of the U.S. have weathered the storm of the recession better than others, there are still areas that continue to struggle.  On June 30th, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness released a report on regional innovation clusters to explore this discrepancy and to offer advice on how to increase global competitiveness through embracing regionalism.

The report emphasized that currently defined political jurisdictions serve as a major barrier to regions fully capitalizing on their economic potential.    “While there are many barriers to acting regionally in the United States,” the report argued, “first among them is that economic regions and political jurisdictions are not coterminous.”  In a Washington Post column, Roger K. Lewis cited the regional cooperation in the Washington metropolitan area and argued that reaching agreement between all of the county and municipal governments is akin to “herding cats.”

In order to best mitigate these problems and take full advantage of the potential of economic regionalism, the report argued for “effective regional leadership” that relies on “existing regional organizations that can set agendas, call meetings, (and) recruit new leaders, etc.”  Calling to mind a familiar phrase, when discussing regional cooperation Lewis argued that, “together we stand, divided we fall.”

Posted by: Joshua Nickell

Sources: The Washington Post, The U.S. Council on Competitiveness

Photo Credit: The U.S. Department of Commerce

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