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US tech majors defend outsourcing

Thursday, 08 January 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW YORK: Chief executives from leading US high technology companies have belied concerns that outsourcing is a major problem facing the American economy.

Rather, they said, the US must get its act together on education and competitiveness.

The technology companies said this in a report compiled by the Washington-based Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP) that represents top IT companies like IBM, Intel, Motorola, Hewlett Packard and Dell.

The report is called "Choose to Compete: How Innovation, Investment and Productivity Can Grow US Jobs and Ensure American Competitiveness in the 21st Century."

Of late, India has become the punching bag for legislators and talking heads as the place where most American IT jobs are being lost due to outsourcing.

The CSPP report says in the face of growing competitive challenges and the need for decisive action to ensure US economic security, it was offering preliminary recommendations to policymakers in Washington to strengthen all sectors of the economy.

"As the US encounters new global realities, policymakers face a choice: we can compete in the international arena or we can retreat," said Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel Corporation and chairman of CSPP.

"America can only grow jobs and improve its competitiveness by choosing to compete globally, and that will require renewed focus on innovation, education and investment."

Trade protectionism was not the answer, the report indicates. More than 60 percent of the revenue of US IT companies comes from outside the country, the report says, as IT companies strive to produce high quality but affordable products that are changing everyday lives of Americans.

In its report, CSPP observes that successful and productive US companies must engage in business worldwide to capitalise on opportunities and respond to competitive challenges.

CSPP says it hopes to work with Congress and the Bush administration in developing a proactive competitiveness agenda to sustain economic leadership and job growth in the United States in the 21st century.

"This report is intended to begin the discussion, and the CSPP CEOs intend to reach out aggressively to public and private leaders in 2004, to define, enact and implement needed policies," a release from CSPP said.

In the report, the executives appealed to policymakers to join them in crafting comprehensive initiatives and specific policies in three areas:

•Promoting and strengthening our innovation pipeline;

•Encouraging investment in technologies and infrastructure that promote competitiveness and fuel entrepreneurship;

•Improving education and training for American students and workers.

"As a nation we must renew our investment in competitiveness, just as businesses must do," said Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO of HP.

Founded in 1989, CSPP is the IT industry's leading advocacy organisation comprised exclusively of CEOs.

The CSPP CEOs visit Washington twice annually to meet lawmakers about issues of importance to the high-tech industry, including trade, spectrum, digital rights management, export controls and privacy.

Source: IANS
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