So the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Intel yesterday charging the company with violations of Sect. 5 of the FTC Act (unfair or deceptive trade practices). What you may have missed yesterday, however, is the rather ironically timed announcement from the Obama administration that it is launching new policies to spur more manufacturing it the United States. In a statement, Vice President Biden said:
“We need legal, tax and regulatory regimes that promote American manufacturing and do not place an undue burden on those who wish to manufacture products in America.”
Over at the ACT blog, Mark Blafkin writes why this is ironic:
Intel is one of the last great American manufacturers. While Intel does some manufacturing abroad, the vast majority of its chips are built by its 40,000 American workers. Most of Intel’s fabrication facilities are in the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Oregon, and the company has announced that it will spend $7 billion to build more facilities here.
The FTC filed its case on behalf of AMD and Nvidia, two companies who have decided to offshore nearly ALL of their manufacturing. AMD’s most advanced manufacturing facility is in Germany, and is “more of a German government fab than an AMD fab” after the German government invested more than $1.5 billion to build it.
When the European Competition Commissioner decided that Intel abused European antitrust law, she crowed that Intel should change its tagline from “Sponsors of Tomorrow” to “Sponsors of the European Taxpayer.” One would hope that the American government would not have similar designs on taking down a company that provides so many high paying American jobs.