Way, way back before 2004, Congress appropriate money for a report on the situation of US technology. That report, by the the U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Administration (TA) - An Overview of Workforce Globalization in the U.S. IT Services and Software, U.S. Semiconductor and the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Industries - was supposed to have been delivered to Congress in June 2004. That 200 page report was written but never released. Better the public not know just how bad the situation is. The tale of how that report has now been pried loose is a long one. And the report recommendations that could have been acted on over two years have been kept from us.
According to subscription-only a BNA report,
A long-sought, two-year old draft report prepared by the Commerce Department analyzing the movement of high-tech jobs overseas said the United States should act aggressively to bolster the country's engineering workforce in order to retain a foothold in the semiconductor industry.
The report, recently obtained by Democrats on the House Science Committee after more than a year of negotiations, predicted that China will become the leader in all aspects of semiconductor production over the next decade, attracting the same engineering talent sought by U.S. companies.
"These trends cannot be turned around, but the negative effects to the U.S. industry and workers could be ameliorated, perhaps stopping the slide in the U.S. market share above the 20 percent presently predicted," the report said. The United States at one point commanded 90 percent of the worldwide market share for semiconductors, but that share quickly slumped to 50 percent in 2003 when Japan and Korea entered the market, the report said.
And according to the Democratic Science Committee website:
Democrats' efforts have centered on obtaining data compiled in 2004 by analysts at the Technology Administration (TA) within the Department of Commerce. That report, entitled An Overview of Workforce Globalization in the U.S. IT Services and Software, U.S. Semiconductor and the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Industries, provided an in-depth analysis of the ongoing loss of U.S. high-tech jobs and represents the most complete analysis to date on offshoring of U.S. jobs.
Until today, the TA analysts' report has never been publicly released. Today we are making available the executive summary and, for comparison purposes, the twelve-page "six-month assessment" the Department of Commerce released last September.
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For the past two years, Science Committee Democrats tried to get specific details and information from Federal experts on this alarming trend. Our efforts were met with resistance, stonewalled by Federal agencies, and a lack of the Committee's traditional bipartisan cooperation. The Federal Government did the research, taxpayers paid for the report and the Technology Administration produced its analysis and findings, yet the Administration buried the truth in rhetoric. Democrats wanted the data, and finally got it.
Scroll down for the timeline for prying this report loose.
You can go back in the past for more on the efforts to pry the report loose - here:
The report Democrats are seeking, titled Six-Month Assessment of Workforce Globalization in Certain Knowledge-Based Industries, was produced by TA analysts in 2004, but was never publicly released in full form. Science Democrats have been requesting the full report, which represents the most thorough examination to date by the U.S. Government of the factors driving U.S. jobs "offshore" to foreign countries, since last fall.
Largely due to a FOIA request from an outside media entity, the Department released a 12-page summary of their analysis in September 2005. The shortened document cost taxpayers roughly $335,000 and TA staff contend that the summary did not accurately reflect their lengthy analysis.
I haven't been able to do a good assessment of the report, now available on the Democratic Science Committee website, but wanted to get news of this report and the stonewall out quickly. Amidst my questing I found a page at Commerce that seemed ironic in context of selling off our jobs and selling our country out: How to sell to the Department of Commerce