Global competition is forcing American manufacturers to
investigate internal and external business practices. The United States has held the number one spot the past two years in the World Economic Forum's annual report of world competitiveness. American manufacturers have achieved this by taking steps to integrate concepts and techniques such as agility, lean production, and TQM, as well as focusing internal efforts on developing learning and knowledge-based organizations. This paper examines legal and economic barriers to competitiveness and several innovative ways to overcome these barriers.