International Competitiveness in Electronics

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This assessment continues the Office of Technology Assessment's (OTA) exploration of the meaning of industrial policy in the United States context, while also examining the industrial policies of several U.S. economic rivals. The major focus is on electronics, an area which virtually defines "high technology" of the 1980's. The assessment sets the characteristics of the technology itself alongside other forces that exert major influences over international competitiveness. Specific areas addressed include: electronics technology; structure, trade, and competitiveness in the international electronics industry; quality, reliability, and automation in manufacturing; role of financing in competitiveness and electronics; human resources (education, training, management); employment effects; national industrial policies; and U.S. trade policies and their effects. The report concludes by outlining five options for a U.S. industrial policy, drawing on electronics for examples of past and prospective impacts, as well as on OTA's previous studies of the steel and automotive industries. A detailed summary and introductory comments are included. Also included in appendices are case studies in the development and marketing of electronics products, a discussion of offshore manufacturing, and a glossary of terms used in the assessment. (JN)
 

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Page 392 - P-1271, May 1977, p. 3. The percentage has thus been falling more or less steadily for many years. "Asher and Strom, op. cit.; JM Utterback and AE Murray, "The Influence of Defense Procurement and Sponsorship of Research and Development on the Development of the Civilian Electronics Industry," report CPA-77-5, Center for Policy Alternatives, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 30, 1977. The wholesale changes in US tax policy embodied in ERTA have affected all industries; perhaps most significant...
Page 256 - US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, A Historical Comparison of the Cost of Financial Capital in France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, and the United Slates. April 1983. 12. Richard R. Ellsworth, Capital markets and competitive decline.
Page 19 - The dynamic of international competitiveness is continuous, and calls for a continuing series of policy responses. People can and will argue endlessly about the successes and failures of industrial policies in other countries, but the primary lesson to be drawn from foreign experience is simply this: industrial policy making is a continuing activity of governments everywhere. In the United States, industrial policy has been left mostly to the random play of events. Improvement is clearly possible;...
Page 506 - means the European Economic Community, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community;
Page 392 - M *Mn Assessment of the Impact of the Department of Defense Very-High-Speed Integrated Circuit Program, op. cit.. pp. 20-22. For purposes of this rough comparison. R&D related to ICs can be taken as equivalent to R&D related to microelectronics. The Federal contribution includes work performed in Government laboratories, but this accounts for less than 10 percent of the Evidently, then, the Federal Government contributes something between 5 and 10 percent of the total.
Page 260 - Their aim is to jump directly into large-scale, capital-intensive techniques of production; proceed rapidly down the learning curve; sell at prices lower than those of the rest of the world; and capture most, if not all, of the market. If American industry limits its investments to those that can be financed by retained earnings, they will simply be driven out of the semiconductor industry." See, "Prepared Statement of Dr. Lester C. Thurow...
Page 330 - Center for Quality of Working Life, Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California, Los Angeles, 1982. Participative Mechanisms In the United States...
Page 260 - States where industries operate with low debt to equity ratios and depend upon retained earnings to fuel investment, the shift to the new production processes occurs at a pace that is limited by current profits. But the Japanese are entering this industry with massive amounts of debt capital ultimately lent by the Bank of Japan. Their aim is to jump directly into large scale, capital intensive, techniques of production; proceed rapidly down the learning curve; sell at prices lower than those of the...
Page 9 - What would be the implications of a decision to pursue a more coherent industrial policy in the United States? First and foremost, that to automatically equate "industrial policy" with a greater degree of Government involvement in the economy is to view the matter from an arbitrarily narrow perspective. Industrial policy does not have to run counter to efforts to "get Government off the backs of business. " Rather, it should be construed as an effort to make the inevitable — indeed oftentimes desirable...
Page 394 - See US Industrial Competitiveness: A Comparison of Steel. Electronics, and Automobiles, op. cit., pp.

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