The US consistently used to be the most competitive economy in the world. Then Donald Trump got elected, assuming office in 2017. In 2018, we lost the top spot to Singapore. In 2019 we continued our slide to #3. This year, we are now in the #10 spot, behind Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.
The primary reason for the drop is our ongoing trade war with China, which has not only caused the US to fall, but also China (because we are their largest trading partner), who are now in the #20 spot. According to the report, “Trade wars have damaged both China and the USA’s economies, reversing their positive growth trajectories.”
Our economy is now less competitive than countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. At least we are still ahead of most of the third world.
What’s ironic is that as the US economy has started to disintegrate due to the coronavirus, polls show Trump still getting high marks for his handling of the economy. Five months ago, 75% of voters rated the economy as excellent or good, but now 75% say that it is not so good or poor. That’s a drop of 50% (no surprise, given that 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and businesses are dropping like flies). But at the same time, Trump’s approval rating for his handling of the economy has slipped only 4%, to 51% approval (which is much higher than his general approval rating).