President and CEO of UPS, and Portland State University graduate, Scott Davis, recently authored a post for Harvard Business Review's Blog Network, proposing four key changes to restore confidence in the private sector.
“First, develop a strategy for energy security – then stick to it”
In order to create new jobs domestically, the US needs reduce its dependence on foreign oil. The public and private sectors need to work together to invest in clean energy technologies for the future.
UPS has been experimenting with their “rolling laboratory” of alternative fuel vehicles using a myriad of natural gas, propane, hydrogen, hydraulic hybrids, and electric, taking advantage of United States' plentiful supply of natural gas. Scott recognizes the strain commercial trucks put on the oil supply, and envisions converting the nation’s long haul fleet of heavy tractors from diesel to natural gas to produce significant savings in foreign oil.
“Second, fix the transportation infrastructure”
The cost of congestion in the US in 2010 was about $101 billion, a 20% increase from 2000. The current strategy addresses transportation needs in isolation, moving from one politically driven priority to the next, causing investments to be fragmented. In order to ease the economic burden of congestion, the US needs a more centralized strategic approach to planning and funding transportation infrastructure for the future.
“Third, simplify the tax code and lower business taxes”
The US currently holds the highest corporate tax rate for any developed nation. A reformed tax structure simplifying and lowering corporate tax rates would put the US in a better position to compete for capital investments in the global economy.
“Fourth, focus on the trade policy”
With the passage of the three free trade agreements last year in South Korea, Panama, and Columbia, 380,000 jobs will be created in the US. Trade is integral to job growth and prosperity, and should remain a national priority.
This post is part of the HBR Insight Center on American Competitiveness.