Capital Roundup

High-Tech Slowdown Coalition Pushes China Trade Competition Concerns

The technology industry grew at its slowest rate in 2000, just 4.6 percent, the slowest growth since 1994-1995, according to a report released by AeA June 6.

High-tech jobs reached 5.3 million last year, increasing 235,000 from 1999, said AeA, a high-tech trade

association.

The report, "Cyberstates 2001: A State-by-State Overview of the High Technology Industry," found all states and

territories, except Puerto Rico and West Virginia, saw high-tech employment grow. The average high-tech wage of $64,900 rose from $58,976 in 1998 and was 95 percent greater than the average private-sector wage of $33,200 in 1999, the latest data available. This compares with 67 percent in 1994.

High-tech exports, meanwhile, reached $223 billion last year, a 92 percent increase from $116 billion in 1994, the report said. High-tech exports now represent 29 percent of all U.S. exports.

 

The U.S. High-Tech Industry Coalition on China has strongly endorsed President Bush's June 1 recommendation that Congress extend normal trade relations status with China for another year, as Congress has done in previous years.

The extension, the coalition said in a June 4 statement, "will protect current U.S. high-tech investments and business in China, thus enhancing opportunities for increased market access once China formally joins the World Trade Organization."

Last year, Congress provided the president authority to grant China permanent normal trade relations status once it completes accession procedures for entry to the World Trade Organization.

 

The opening of travel Web site Orbitz, a joint

venture among the nation's five largest airlines, has prompted complaints from the Computer & Communications Industry Association about potential anti-competitive behavior.

"When competitors get together and begin to determine the means by which they will conduct business, obvious questions of collusion arise," said Ed Black, CCIA president and chief executive officer.

The CCIA, an association of computer and communications industry firms, said Orbitz is the subject of a review by 23 state attorneys general and the Justice Department and is being monitored by the Transportation Department.

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