You might think the last thing the President needs as his poll numbers are plunging is pressure to make an unforced blunder crippling U.S. innovation. Under the pretext of expanding U.S. manufacturing capability, some are pushing a provision to a pending Executive Order on manufacturing allowing the bureaucracy to micromanage our technology transfer system. That’s already happened at the Department of Energy (DOE), and the disastrous consequences are just becoming apparent. This is being sold as a way of increasing domestic manufacturing capacity, which is rightly a priority of President Biden. But extending a flawed idea across all R&D agencies undermines the public/private R&D partnerships which restored our technological leadership—without doing a thing to broaden our manufacturing base.

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