Report: U.S. Hi-Tech Exports Now Largest Segment

FAIRFAX, VA. (03/13/2000) - U.S. exports of high technology products now represent about one-quarter of the total amount of U.S. exports of manufactured goods, making it the largest export segment ahead of transportation-related products and chemicals, a report compiled by the American Electronics Association and released today said.

The U.S. high technology industry exported $181 billion worth of manufactured products last year, or 26 percent of all U.S. goods exported, according to the report, which was highlighted by William Archey, president and chief executive officer of the AEA, in a speech at an Internet conference here.

The figures compare with $126 billion worth of transportation-related goods and $67 billion worth of chemical-related goods, the report said, quoting figures from the U.S. Bureau of Census. The percentage also is higher than in previous years. For example, high tech goods comprised 21 percent of U.S. goods exported in 1993, Archey said.

The top markets for U.S. high technology goods were Canada, Mexico, Japan, the U.K. and South Korea, said the report, titled "AEA's Cybernation 2.0: The U.S.

High Tech Industry and World Markets."

The countries experiencing the highest growth rate in U.S. high technology goods between 1993 and 1999 were the Philippines, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil and Mexico, according to the report, which also highlighted facts and figures about U.S. investment abroad.

Quoting the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the report said U.S. high technology investment abroad reached $95 billion in 1998, more than petroleum at $91 billion, insurance at $47 billion and banking at $42 billion. The top investment markets were the U.K., Singapore, Japan, Canada and Germany, according to the report.

But the countries with the largest increases in U.S. investment from 1996 to 1998 were Ireland, with a 74 percent increase to $1.7 billion; Singapore, with a 70 percent increase to $7.5 billion; the U.K., with a 26 percent increase to $12 billion; and Malaysia, with a 26 percent increase to $3.4 billion worth of investment, the report said.

The countries whose investment from the U.S. high technology industry declined were Japan, Italy, Germany and France, according to the report.

"When you look at the investment, where it's going, you look at the relative innovativeness and the relative potential of a given country's high tech market, or our country is not going to invest in it," Archey said in an interview after his presentation. "We invest where our investment is treated the best."

The report, more than 100 pages of statistics and analysis, is the second Cybernation study issued by AEA. The first appeared in November 1997. The latest report says the U.S. continues to lead the world in the number of computer users per 1,000 people, with 580, and Finland leads the world in the number of users of cell phones per 1,000, with 572.

The report also ranked technology markets excelling in five key indicators: per capita use of computers, the Internet and cellular phones, the availability of venture capital and the number of high technology degrees awarded. In that ranking, Singapore, Finland, Denmark and Canada earned the top spots behind the U.S. based on high rankings in the five categories. The U.S. led despite its 16th place ranking in the per capita use of cellular phones.

The AEA, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-4200, or found on the Web at http://www.aeanet.org.

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