High-Technology Competitiveness:

Trends in U.S. and Foreign Performance

NSIAD-92-236: Published: Sep 16, 1992. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 1992.


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on U.S. competitiveness in high-technology areas, including assessments of trends in the U.S. position over the past decade, particularly relative to Japan.

GAO found that: (1) aggregate performance indicators provide some evidence of a decline in the U.S. leadership position in developing and marketing technology-intensive products, particularly relative to Japan; (2) evidence on trends in the U.S. trade balance in high-technology products is mixed, with measures of high-technology trade sensitive to which products are included; (3) several indicators yield evidence that the technology gap between Japan and the United States has narrowed in recent decades; (4) measures of research output show Japanese gains; (5) the United States is the world leader in the production and consumption of telecommunications equipment; (6) the share of U.S.-owned firms in the domestic and world consumer electronics markets has declined dramatically over the last 40 years; (7) Japan is the world's largest market and producer of semiconductors; and (8) the decline in U.S. position in some industries has been strongest in the less technologically sophisticated industry segments.

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