Update: Several people were kind enough to make helpful suggestions about this question. I'm looking strictly for well-reasoned, fact-based answer only. Thanks!
In the question More complete source for Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture” comments? (National Space Council Users' Advisory Group) I reference some of the fairly rare public criticisms of the Gateway initiative/project's architecture by at least three prominent US individuals associated with the space program and/or industry. Points quoted there seem to reference getting the Gateway station itself built near the Moon first, and then using the station as a staging point for Lunar exploration and potentially (probably) mining it for resources such as water for LH2/LO2 propellant production as well as life support.
One of those examples is former NASA director Mike Griffin's quote discussing the Gateway-before-boots ordering; build the station first, then explore the moon, versus robots and people on the moon first, find and mine the water, and then put the station in orbit.
Some concern was expressed that other countries could get "boots on the Moon" faster than the US in this case.
Here I'd like to ask only about US business, economic and technological development aspects of Gateway as currently envisioned, versus a concerted "robots and people on the moon first for exploration" effort followed later by the Gateway.
Question: Does the currently proposed Gateway provide substantial business, economic and technological development opportunities beneficial to the US directly or indirectly (and of course to other participating countries) by building it first, even if it means substantial expenditures and possibly "first boots" of other countries on the Moon before "returning boots" of the US?
The following is background and part of the process that led me to writing and then refining this question:
There is general agreement that the push to get to the moon by the end of the (1960's) decade contributed to technology advancement that benefitted the US economy for decades afterward. One example could be the miniaturization of the flight computers via integrated circuits.
NASA director Jim Bridenstine was in Ottawa recently to talk to Canadian techology leaders. From the CBC News article:
Bridenstine is in Ottawa for a large gathering of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, where speculation is running high about Canada's possible participation in the U.S. space program.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, a vocal booster of Canada's AI hubs in Ontario and Quebec, is also scheduled to speak, along with one of Canada's former astronauts, Marc Garneau, the current federal transport minister.
The meeting is also discussed in the CBC News video in YouTube: NASA wants Canadians on the moon. The screenshot below shows Bridenstine with Navdeep Bains who is Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Bridenstine's discussions of the Gateway project always include concepts like interoperability and open-source standardization, which have been seen as very helpful to rapid growth in some areas of industry and technology, especially when substantial economic competition is also present in the mix.
The video Bridenstine Speaks at NASA Advisory Council Meeting from 29-Aug-2018:
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke the agency’s exploration goals, during a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) on Aug. 29 at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The Council meets several times a year for fact finding and deliberative sessions. Meetings are held at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, as well as at NASA Centers across the country.