Manufacturers move their fabs offshore because they have to maintain profit margin. Only leading edge company like Intel can maintain a healthy profit margin by operating in the US. Being on the leading edge is the role of US in the world economy and it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. But it is good to be worried and alert. That's the best way to stay ahead.
Hmmm. Intel and Global Foundries, huh? Isn't there also a large computer company, sometimes associated with the color blue, which has one of the first 300mm foundries to be built and is widely known for its advanced technology? A foundry located in New York state? I wonder why it was overlooked.
Interesting that there is such a disconnect here. The numbers in the Turner report are pretty surprising. I think the idea that there will be more than a few more chip fabs built in the U.S. flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but U.S.-based IDMs (an endangered species) might find good reasons to continue to maintain a portion of their manufacturing "on shore."
We in the UK would only dream of such manufacturing output figures :-) I would not worry too much if I were American. The technology is still developed by American companies and all it'll take to encourage these companies to set up more fabs in the US is a change in the tax regulations. For the time being though, do not forget that a good part of the benefits gained by relocation finds its way back to the US as shareholder dividends and increased equity.
The reality is that most US companies do not repatriate their funds from abroad to the US to avoid paying double taxes. This is one of the new trends on globalization. Make billions of dollars in China, spend the money in China. So with that the US revenue is used to run the operation while major capital investment is done overseas since that is where the reserved capital is located. The challenge is that hardware asset make lesser money and investors punish you for running deep into your debt. So firms avoid that.
Contrast with software where they spend nothing for big gains, it becomes a bad trend to big fabs. It is like Andy Groove said in his recent opinion, we must begin to refocus building fabs to keep American competitiveness.
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