The United States has a long history of economic growth, a history that shows free-market capitalism to be the engine of social mobility—a highway to the American Dream.

That’s why the Bush Institute’s 4% Growth Project  sets an ambitious target of real, sustained GDP growth of four percent annually, or about one percentage point higher than the average rate of growth since the end of World War II.  A four percent growth rate will create good jobs for Americans, reduce the burden of government debt, and greatly increase prosperity.

Here’s another compelling fact: The U.S. had $1.2 trillion in trade with Canada and Mexico in 2011, making them this country’s first and third largest trading partners, respectively. What’s more, that volume of trade was equal to our trade with Japan, China, Korea, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and India – combined.

The Bush Institute’s economic growth team also examines policies that will enable these three nations to capitalize upon our potential and make the next ten years the North America Decade. 

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Last night, Congressman Paul Ryan visited the Bush Center while on tour promoting his new book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.” Earlier this week, he sat down with the Bush Institute to discuss the ideas his book presents on economic growth, principles of conservatism, and the role of civil society.

We’ve written here before about the opening up of Mexico’s energy industry, but it is clearly a big story and a big issue for Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Antonio Garza, who served as U.S.