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AeA Urges U.S. to Step Up Math and Science, R&D Tax Credit

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WASHINGTON, June 30 – The information technology industry continues to add jobs at good wages, even as the national economy verges on an slowdown, according to a report released last week by the electronics association AeA.

According ot the report, “Cybercities 2008,” high-tech industry wages are 87 percent higher than average private-sector wages. The report also found that 56 cities had wage differentials greater than 50 percent, and that three cities – Austin, San Diego and Sacramento – had differentials higher than 100 percent.

The United States has long schooled the world’s brightest minds, but domestic policies and practices have tended to send them back to their respective countries after graduation. The lack of success in fostering foreign talent has diminished the competitive advantage of the U.S. relative to other countries with a stronghold in math and science, such as Finland and Taiwan, according to the record.

“The negligence of our political leaders to improve on our education system [and] allow the best and brightest form around the world to work in the United States” presages an impending slide in our global competitiveness, said the report.

Fostering innovative foreigners will be what the U.S. will have to do in order to compete in the global economy, said the report.

Another policy prescription urged by AeA is for Congress to provide more funding for research and development and make the R&D tax credit permanent. The lack of an R&D tax credit discourages U.S. companies ability to plan for long term projects, said the group.

China, the report notes, has made such a policy permanent. The report also notes that U.S. federal R&D funding has been instrumental in developing technologies including the Internet, global positioning system and fiber optics.

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