IBM Corp is urging US politicians to resist the “myopia” of protectionism, and support open trade combined with favorable taxation to help business compete against offshoring.
Speaking at this week’s LinuxWorld, senior vice president for technology and manufacturing Nick Donofrio said innovation is now a global phenomena and governments must lay the foundations that help business compete with new trading powers.
Donofrio added both governments and business must act fast to address questions of policy and investing in R&D.
As senior vice president for technology and manufacturing, Donofrio leads IBM’s strategy to develop and commercialize advanced technologies and retain employees.
Ninety one million new jobs will be created worldwide over the next decade. The most pressing question is where? Europe, the US, China, India, Spirit Lake Iowa, Singapore? Donofrio asked.
Many of the best jobs will go to those countries that create the most fertile environment for innovation.
He warned government must take fundamental steps in order to compete. Steps include governments instituting favorable taxation, which encourages investment by business, and tearing down trade barriers between nations, to enable easier collaboration across boarders. Governments must also embrace global technologies and standards.
These issues require leaders to look in the mirror and ask tough questions: is our country or region a hotspot for innovation, where do we stand on skills, policy and environment and openness, what must we do to improve?
The answer won’t be found by looking to protectionism to stem the outflow of jobs – myopia is not a strategy, nor is cost control to wring out advantage, nor will we advance if we relegate these questions to think thanks.
We should not look at the emergence of another economic super power as a threat – the US benefits from growth in the rest of the world because it benefits our growth. The dispersal of innovation has become global… innovation has no longer become confined to one region or nation, Donofrio said.