North America:
A World Class Competitor

Together, Canada, Mexico, and the United States outperform the world’s other major regions—including the European Union, Mercosur, APEC, and the Pacific Alliance—on the Bush Institute Scorecard. In today’s integrated global economy, all three countries need to continuously improve for North America to become an even stronger economic force. A strengthened NAFTA agreement could help boost productivity and reduce costs, but ending the agreement would raise the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. and reduce our global competitiveness.

Bush Institute Scorecard, 2016 data

How is North America Performing?

The United States excels in the areas of higher Education and training, financial market development, innovation and sophistication, and labor market efficiency. Canada shines when it comes to measures of primary education, property rights protections, credit and labor markets, and financial stability. Mexico rates highly on the ease of obtaining credit and freedom to trade internationally, and is one of the most promising emerging markets in the world today, thanks to the far-reaching economic policy reforms of the past several years.

However, there is also room for improvement. The United States must reduce fiscal deficits and relative indebtedness and restore confidence in its long-term macroeconomic outlook. Above all else, Mexico needs to improve rule of law, strengthen institutions, and reduce corruption. Canada lags in innovation and technology transfer. See our recommendations for more information on these and other opportunities for enhanced North American competitiveness through greater integration in key areas such as infrastructure, energy, and workforce development.

About the Data