The Commerce study examined the globalization of U.S. IT services and software, pharmaceuticals and semiconductors. Laureen Daly, the government analyst who wrote the semiconductor section, referred questions to the department's public affairs office.
The National Academy of Public Administration, or NAPA, bills itself as an honest, independent broker on controversial political issues. Based here, the nonprofit corporation was chartered by Congress in 1984 to advise government agencies on "issues of governance and public management."
While the White House suppressed the 2004 Commerce study's results, Congress appropriated funding in fiscal 2005 for NAPA to conduct a comprehensive, two-year study of offshoring. In awarding a grant through the Commerce Department, Congress directed the academy to define job offshoring; examine current data and determine what additional data is needed to document offshoring; and analyze the factors accounting for offshoring, along with its impact on U.S. workers, industry and schools.
The first portion of the three-part NAPA study was finished in January. Ryder said the NAPA panel is preparing to circulate the second installment to government agencies for comment prior to release of the section next month. One topic to be addressed in a final report is the reasons U.S. high-tech companies offshore or outsource work.
Previous government studies have concluded that high-tech companies are breaking down their business processes as the pace of globalization quickens. For the U.S. semiconductor industry, the result has been the outsourcing or offshoring of functions like chip design, production and R&D.
Ryder said multinational corporations are expanding their overseas operations faster than their U.S. facilities. "The economic impacts are different," he said, citing moves like Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s announcement last week that it will establish a second Chinese R&D center in Shanghai. The Shanghai-Suzhou region produces more than two-thirds of the world's notebook PCs. AMD is attempting to meet foreign demand for its processors with a foreign affiliate, Ryder said.