Industrial Policy Comes Out of the Cold

WASHINGTON, DC – One of the best-kept economic secrets was strongly reconfirmed in 2010: most countries, intentionally or not, pursue an industrial policy in one form or other. This is true not only of China, Singapore, France, and Brazil – countries usually associated with such policies – but also for the United Kingdom, Germany, Chile, and the United States, whose industrial policies are often less explicit.

Given that industrial policy broadly refers to any government decision, regulation, or law that encourages ongoing activity or investment in an industry, this should come as no surprise. After all, economic development and sustained growth are the result of continual industrial and technological change, a process that requires collaboration between the public and private sectors.