US should not surrender its edge in innovation: Obama
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 13:15
  
Washington: President Barack Obama today said the country that goes "all-in" on innovation will own the global economy tomorrow as he asserted that the US should not surrender its edge in this field.

"We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow. This is an edge America cannot surrender. Federally-funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind

Google and smartphones," Obama said. In his sixth State of the Union Address, Obama urged the Congress to help keep America being the leader in innovation.

"That's why Congress should undo the damage done by last year's cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery ? whether it's vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that's stronger than steel," he said.

Obama urged the Congress to pass a patent reform bill that allows US businesses to stay focused on innovation rather than on costly, needless litigation. VWhen ninety-eight per cent of American exporters are small businesses, he said, new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help them create more jobs.

"We need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority to protect our workers, protect our environment and open new markets to new goods stamped 'Made in the USA'. China and Europe aren't standing on the sidelines. Neither should we," he said. In his speech, Obama said one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is his commitment to American energy.

The 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy that was announced a few years ago is working and today the US is closer to energy independence than it has been in decades, he asserted.

"One of the reasons is natural gas ? if extracted safely, it's the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Businesses plan to invest almost USD 100 billion in new factories that use natural gas," he said. The US is also becoming a global leader in solar energy, he said.

"Let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving USD 4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do," Obama said. "In the coming months, I'll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump," he added.

Obama argued his energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet.

Stressing that in the past eight years, the US has reduced its total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth, Obama called for more urgency and said that changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought and coastal cities dealing with floods.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 13:15


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