U.S. drops from first to third in global competitiveness ranking

Cranes move loads of materials at dusk at the Hudson Yards construction site in New York on March 4, 2016. (Associated Press)

According to the Washington Times here’s one more data point for Donald Trump’s argument that the U.S. “doesn’t win anymore.”

The U.S. economy is no longer the most competitive and pro-business in the world, after holding the top spot for the previous three years, according to a comprehensive new survey.

The Switzerland-based IMD World Competitiveness Center in its 2016 ranking puts the U.S. third behind China’s Hong Kong region and Switzerland. Hong Kong was praised for its low tax base, lack of capital controls and its position as a gateway for investment into the Chinese mainland.

The sheer size and scope of the American economy were no longer sufficient to keep it at the top of the closely-watched global ranking, Arturo Bris, director of the IMD center, said.

“The U.S. still boasts the best economic performance in the world, but there are many other factors that we take into account when assessing competitiveness,” Mr. Bris said in releasing the survey Monday. “The common pattern among all of the countries in the top 20 is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure and inclusive institutions.”

Rounding out the top ten competitive economies were Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada. Ireland made one of the biggest year-to-year jumps in the IMD survey, moving up nine places from its 2015 ranking.

The ratings are based on some 340 criteria assessing the health of the economy; government policy and support; the efficiency of the business sector; and the state of national infrastructure. The center, a research group within the Lausanne-based International Institute for Management Development, also polls more than 5,400 business executives worldwide.

– The Washington Times