In the past decade, a great number of books and articles have been written about the competitiveness of American industries in the global marketplace. Their emphasis has ranged across a number of industries, including steel, automobiles, computer systems, and semiconductors. These publications have also covered the global geography by analyzing the industrial policies of many nations, including the United States, Japan, France, and Korea, as well as others. The variety of forms have included the general press, magazines, trade publications, academic studies, and government reports. Despite this broad coverage, only a few of these works describe the role of trade associations in helping their nation's industries achieve a high level of global competitiveness, and even these few do not treat the subject of trade associations comprehensively. The purpose of this book is to focus primarily on the role of trade associations in bringing about a higher level of competitiveness for U.S. high-technology industries. Therefore, it will not cover the broader aspects of global competitiveness but only the one area that has not been adequately addressed.
The role of an industry trade association is seldom clearly understood by Americans. Moreover, even when the role is understood, there are no guarantees that it is being implemented as well in the United States as it is in the competitor nations of Japan and Germany. One area in which American trade associations seem to lag behind their foreign competitors is in forming effective partnerships with government. This book, therefore, attempts to shed a brighter light on the issue of global competition as related to industry associations and their involvement in industry-government partnerships.
The approach taken here is fairly simple. Following an introduction, the second part of the book provides a look at the history of the trade association movement in the United States, Japan, and Germany against the background of each nation's socioeconomic and political experiences. It also serves as a preliminary foundation for further explanation and recommendations. The countries of Japan