The United States enters the 1990s facing serious economic challenges and competition from both Western Europe and the Far East. The decline in U.S. economic competitiveness is already obvious. There is a serious gap between U.S. national productivity growth and that of other industrial nations, record trade deficits and a growing U.S. dependence on foreign capital. This declining competitiveness may be explained--at least in part--by the low rate at which the U.S. has added to its capital stock of highways and other infrastructure facilities that aid in the production and distribution of goods and services. A comparison of U.S. competitiveness to that of Japan, Germany and Korea found the following: Spending trends over the past 5 years show that Japan, Germany and Korea have focused considerably greater national attention on highway and bridge capital improvements than has the U.S. relative to the size of their total economy and highway use. Japan's capital investment in highways has been especially striking. In 1988, the most recent year in which comparable data are available, Japan spent more than 1.8% of its GNP on highway infrastructure improvements--almost triple the U.S. level of investment. Relative to highway use, the Japanese investment in highways is nine times that of the U.S.; Korea invests at six times the U.S. rate; and Germany at twice the U.S. level. In terms of highway capital spending relative to the number of motor vehicles in use, in 1988, the U.S. invested $165 per vehicle in use; Germany, $230; Korea, $735; and Japan, $1,018--more than six times the U.S. rate.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Apogee Research, Incorporated

    4350 East West Highway, Suite 600
    Bethesda, MD  United States  20814
  • Authors:
    • Mudge, R R
  • Publication Date: 1991-6

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 11 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00611977
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1991 12:00AM