How to keep SSL manufacturing in the U.S.

Jan. 21, 2011
The DOE thinks there is a golden opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to take a significant role in solid-state lighting.

In 2007, lighting manufacturers employed almost 60,000 people nationwide and shipped products valued at $13.5 billion. However, U.S. solid-state lighting companies are faced with economic factors that have led to the globalization of their industry, including lost jobs, a dispersal of the technology infrastructure largely built in this country, and ultimately a U.S. trade deficit.

That's why the DOE convened a workshop on how to keep SSL manufacturing in the U.S. It recently published a whitepaper outlining the results of the workshop and its conclusions. Among them:

One of the most worrisome lighting industry trends of the last 20 years has been the loss of U.S. jobs and economic stature, not to mention intellectual property foundation, to Asian countries. Several workshop participants commented that labor cost is not the main reason U.S. companies outsource high-tech manufacturing. The lighting manufacturers highlighted the following reasons for migration to China and other Far East countries:
• Proximity to the world’s highest population and economic growth markets
• Proximity to the supply chain
• Incentives offered for foreign investment in manufacturing and R&D
−−Availability of infrastructure, space in industrial parks, a trained workforce,
and low-cost loans
−−Generous government subsidies for energy and water
−−Export incentives, tax breaks, and refunds of the value-added tax
−−Tariff protections from foreign competition

You can download the complete DOE whitepaper here:

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