OIDA seeks input for China testimony

WASHINGTON, DC--The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has asked the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA; Washington, DC) to testify at a Congressional hearing on March 24, 2009 regarding China’s Industrial Policy and Its Impact on U.S. Companies, Workers and the American Economy.

WASHINGTON, DC--The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has asked the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA; Washington, DC) to testify at a Congressional hearing on March 24, 2009 regarding China’s Industrial Policy and Its Impact on U.S. Companies, Workers and the American Economy. The OIDA welcomes your input to Congress as it prepares its testimony.

The Commission specifically asked OIDA to address China’s nanotechnology and optoelectronics Industries, with particular interest in the following issues: What roles do state-funded and R&D-oriented projects play in the development of China’s optoelectronics industry? What would the loss of optoelectronics mean to the U.S. economy? What accounts for the movement of the optoelectronics industry to China and should we expect further movement of U.S. optoelectronics to China? What are the consequences for American competitiveness in science and technology of the movement of this industry to China? What U.S. policies should be adopted in order to stem further loss in optoelectronics? How might these companies be attracted to relocate production within the U.S.?

Many of these issues were explored in a June 2008 Laser Focus World editorial entitled “Confronting Photonics: Are controls on exports of high-power lasers hurting U.S. manufacturers?” (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/330750). The article explored a 2006 objection by the Laser and Electro-Optics Manufacturers’ Association (LEOMA; Pacifica, CA) to certain U.S. Revisions and Clarification of Export and Reexport Controls for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), on the grounds that the “onerous restrictions” and “overly broad prohibitions would inflict substantial financial harm on American companies, while benefiting our foreign competitors” who have not implemented “controls of similar scope on their trade with the PRC.” The article was centered around “dual-use” high-power lasers, with use both as weapons of war, and as powerful materials-processing machine tools. While industry opinions surrounding export controls on high-power lasers were substantially negative, it was obvious that such regulations are still viewed as a necessary evil. The conclusion was that worldwide “globalization” and Chinese investment in the U.S. economy would indeed have an impact on future policy related to “dual-use” items.

If you have particular views on China and its role in the optoelectronics industry, OIDA president Michael Lebby encourages you to contact him to express your insights or viewpoints. Please contact Lebby directly at lebby@oida.org.

--Gail Overton

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