Should governments subsidize electronics manufacturing?
A simple question, with no simple answer.
Some call it smart investments. Others deem it corporate welfare.
In the US, reams of domestic trade groups — including NAM, IPC, and the erstwhile EIA — annually spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of their members’ dues trying to convince government to allocate funds their members’ way. Some states offer grants, tax breaks or rebates for worker training and equipment buys.
China offers enormous tax breaks, shipping subsidies, training grants and other financial assistance.
In Canada, provinces commonly set aside ample funds to aid manufacturers looking to add new equipment. Consider how much easier life would be for the typical small EMS company if someone else wrote the check for a new placement machine. But then again, that money comes from somewhere: other companies, perhaps in other industries, and of course, you and me.