Technology has and will continue to play a significant role in driving economic growth. The ability to communicate rapidly, share information freely, conduct commerce electronically, and realize large gains in productivity are all hallmarks of economic expansion.
The rollout of high-speed broadband is an important driver to economic growth and a key differentiator from our global competitors. Today, the U.S. ranks 11th in the world in broadband access behind countries like Korea, Canada, Belgium and Japan. I support the establishment of a national broadband plan that will encourage the spread of broadband across the country.
I also recognize that we need a comprehensive investment effort - in our people and in research and development. Today, over 90 percent of research and development by U.S. companies takes place in the United States. But to keep it here, we must provide an atmosphere of innovation that makes the U.S. more attractive than anywhere else in the world. I support expanding and making permanent the research and development tax credit as well as increased funding for basic research through the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.
I have also led efforts to improve the safety of those using the Internet and we need to draft legislation that helps combat identity theft. Perhaps most importantly, we must allow our economy to grow and prosper by keeping the government efficient and our budgets balanced.
Locally, the South Puget Sound region has attracted many new high wage, high-tech jobs and I'm proud of my work with citizens, businesses and others aimed at demonstrating the advantages of doing business in our community. To this end, I've joined and initiated conferences in our area that bring together leaders in technology, education and community development to share ideas and craft strategies for educating our workforce, attracting new businesses and making the South Sound a center of technology.
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