header image
     Advanced Search
Industry Competitiveness and Regulatory Analysis
The Office of Competition and Economic Analysis

How does OCEA incorporate competitiveness analysis into its program of work?

Competitiveness means different things to different people. To an economist, it may mean how well a country is performing compared to other economies, as embodied in the standard of living and changes in national productivity. To a policy maker, it may mean how a new regulation changes the ability of affected businesses to compete. To a business owner, it may mean changes in profitability as reflected in market share for its goods and services in a low-cost market place. There is no clear-cut definition of competitiveness that is acceptable to all. Thus, it is necessary to interpret competitiveness as best suits one's needs and mission.

OCEA's mission is to provide critical economic and policy analysis and information to promote U.S. business competitiveness, and to evaluate industry perspectives for domestic policy development, assessment, and implementation. With these twin considerations as guidelines, OCEA's program of work on business competitiveness is founded upon economic and policy analysis that is meaningful at the individual business (firm or company) level.

OCEA's competitiveness analysis consists of three principal elements:

  • Understanding the micro-economic foundations of competitiveness and prosperity. OCEA and MAS analysts pay close attention to the business environment facing U.S. companies and their ability to deliver goods and services in a global market.

  • Monitoring economic metrics that reflect the ability of individual firms and industry to compete in the market place. OCEA, in collaboration with other offices within MAS, tracks and assesses information that is important to a company's balance sheet as well as industry-wide aggregate measures such as business profitability, market share, and employment.

  • Assessing the impacts of policies and regulations on measures of business competitiveness and injecting the information into interagency policy deliberations. OCEA's scope of analysis includes comprehensive assessment of up-stream and down stream economic activities, with special emphasis on implications on international trade, as well as drill-down analysis at the company level.


Links to Web sites outside the U.S. federal government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within the International Trade Administration Web sites are for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector Web site, product, or service.

Indicates a PDF file. If you can't open these, download a free Acrobat Reader.