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 user 2005-03-13 at 10:17:00 am Views: 199
  • #10834

    U.S. risks losing edge, tech leaders warn
    Group calls for more investment in education, researchMarch , 2005

    Leaders of high-tech companies said Tuesday the United States risks losing its
    competitive edge without significant new investments in education, research and
    development and the spread of broadband technology.

    “The world is
    changing a little bit, and frankly there is a significant amount of concern that
    if we don’t make some adjustments, follow the right public policies, do some
    things that are important, we could find ourselves very quickly losing the
    advantage we’ve had for so long,” Rick White, president and chief executive of
    high-tech lobby TechNet, said at a press conference.

    The Palo Alto,
    Calif., group represents about 200 high-tech leaders, including Microsoft, Intel
    Corp., Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard. TechNet made its annual lobbying trip
    to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with Cabinet members and congressional

    White and other
    TechNet officials cited some troubling indications that the United States is
    falling behind in high-tech development:

  • Some 7 percent of
    U.S. households have the fastest kind of broadband access, compared with 30
    percent in Korea, 20 percent in Japan and over 10 percent in France, TechNet
    leaders said. Overall, 20 percent of U.S. households have some kind of
    high-speed connection, according to a report issued last fall by the Commerce
  • U.S. investment in
    research and development has stayed flat for the last three decades, while it
    has grown significantly in competitors such as Brazil, India, China and
  • Students in the
    United States are behind their counterparts in other countries in math and
    science, and some Asian countries are graduating five times as many

    The officials
    announced formation of a CEO Education Task Force to try to come up with

    They also called on
    Congress to increase basic research funding and make permanent a research and
    development tax credit; promote broadband development, in part by minimizing
    regulations; enact a U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic free trade
    agreement; promote cybersecurity initiatives; and continue to take steps to
    reduce frivolous lawsuits.

    TechNet leaders
    also pledged to continue their opposition to a proposed Financial Accounting
    Standards Board rule that would require companies to deduct the value of
    employee stock options from their profits. Requiring some big companies to
    expense the popular employee incentives could dramatically reduce their